WINTER 2021 THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF ALPINE SKI CLUB
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Karen was excellent in
every aspect of
the sale. She was available and responsive, helpful and enthusiastic.
KAREN E. WILLISON Sales Representative, ABR®, SRES®, CLHMS®
SKIDOODLE 2021 2
27 Arthur Street, Thornbury
05 First Tracks 06 Round Table 12 A Peek into the Alpine Presidency 13 Keep Calm, Carry On 16 Après 18 Socialite (Then and Now) 23 Alpine Bands 24 Alpine’s 60-year Timeline 26 Celebrating 60 Years 36 The Next-Generation 39 A Look Back at the Hall of Fame 43 Performance Tips 45 Elite Athletes 47 Tip of the Toque 49 Round Table (cont’d) 54 Past Directors 57 Essentials Gear Guide Alpine Ski Club 17-242 Arrowhead Road, Blue Mountains, ON L9Y 0S1 Phone: 705.445.0339 Fax: 705.445.3247 alpineskiclub.com • email@example.com
Rope tow mitt, circa 1960
Creative Direction Design: Springfed Creative Executive Editors: Jacqueline Newall Chapman, Matthew Cody & Kerina Williamson Managing Editor: Alana Mackle SKIDOODLE 2021 3
lpine’s sixtieth season isn’t quite what any of us had originally envisioned or wished for while the world has dealt with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board and Skidoodle team did consider postponing publication until a later date, when we are feeling more celebratory. After some consideration, the team agreed that for Alpine’s 60th anniversary, there is much to celebrate, much to reminisce about, and yes, so much to look forward to. We would like to take this opportunity to give a heartfelt thank you to our Skidoodle contributors, volunteers, sponsors and advertisers who have all had a hand in bringing this special edition to you. The Club, and its staff, have successfully managed many challenges over the past year, especially given how rapidly the pandemic has changed and continues to evolve. However, the team has done their best to ensure that the information within the issue is as current as possible as of the time of printing. Their tremendous contributions allow the Club to offer you this commemorative issue as the 2021 season gets underway—slightly later than expected. We invite you to get a hot chocolate, a warm blanket and dig in for a great read! Sincerely, The Skidoodle Team SKIDOODLE 2021 4
FIRST TRACKS By Jacqueline Newall Chapman
Newall Family, circa 2010
“IT IS MY HONOUR AND PRIVILEGE TO INTRODUCE THE 2020/2021 SPECIAL-EDITION SKIDOODLE CELEBRATING ALPINE’S 60TH!” What a remarkable journey we, as Alpine’s family, have experienced together. For as long as I can remember, Alpine has been an enormous part of my life and a foundation of our family. I am proud to be part of a three-generation Alpine family. I am also very proud to be the daughter of Alpine’s first female President, Pamela Newall (1989-90) and to serve our Club on the Board of Directors. I am sure that someday, my daughters will share our passion and volunteer in a capacity at Alpine that is meaningful to them too. While our many multi-generation families bring experience, legacy and continuity, our new members bring fresh eyes, energy and enthusiasm to our Club. We are incredibly fortunate that Alpine’s fabric is woven together by our history and our future. Yet, as passionate as I am about Alpine, I can’t help but ask myself “Am I passionate enough to cut the trails? Build the lifts? Build the lodges?”. That’s a whole new level of passion.
As we celebrate Alpine’s 60th anniversary this season, I am incredibly humbled by our founding members. They were not only passionate skiers, but they stood at the base of a heavily wooded piece of the Escarpment and decided together to create the foundation for the Alpine experience we all enjoy and love. Their vision, strength, creative problem-solving, teamwork, volunteerism and sheer determination is a gift and an inspiration to each and every one of us. As we celebrate our past, we must also take a moment to pause on this critical moment in history as well. Never in our history as a club have we been faced with quite the circumstances and challenges that we face at this moment in time. Never have we felt more united, yet more apart. It is uncharted waters for all of us. But with the guidance of our founding members, we will navigate through these challenging times and will continue to do amazing things for our Alpine ski family now and for generations to come. SKIDOODLE 2021 5
Hello Alpine members, This year is very special for our club. Alpine is turning 60! On the property that began as a dude ranch called Arrowhead Ranch 60 years ago is now a world-class private ski club ranked by CNN Travel as one of the top nine private ski clubs in the world. I am grateful for the foresight of our founding members and the many volunteer Boards that built on that vision.
“WHETHER YOU HAVE JUST JOINED, OR ARE A LONG-TIME MEMBER, WE ARE ALL BOUND TOGETHER BY OUR LOVE OF DOWNHILL SPORTS AND THE HISTORY WE SHARE, DATING BACK TO THE FOUNDERS WHO HAD THE VISION AND THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT TO ESTABLISH OUR AWARD-WINNING CLUB.”
I began my skiing journey at the age of five at a small ski hill in Haliburton. In the ‘70s, Mother Nature didn’t always deliver the natural snow we needed, so my Dad decided it was time to ski in Collingwood. Alpine offered a private ski club experience with a welcoming family atmosphere and an investment in snowmaking. We joined and never looked back. I am fortunate that my husband Manfred and our two daughters (Stephanie and Samantha) also love skiing at Alpine. I am both a second-generation member, and a second-generation President. It is an honour for my father (Gord Demetrick) and I to be the first father-daughter Presidents at Alpine. As I begin my presidency at Alpine, I am appreciative of the tireless efforts of everyone to plan, and re-plan countless times for the season during a global pandemic. We threw away our proven ski season playbook and started from scratch. To provide a safe environment for our members and staff, every element of the Alpine experience, from buildings, lockers, lineups, lifts, food, and programs needed to be re-imagined and communicated. Innovation can certainly be born out of adversity. The pandemic has helped Alpine reimagine and innovate several areas of the member experience, including après events, crafts-to-go, dryland training, and administration. Snowman contests on social media, online ordering and curb-side pick up of our après, dinners, and crafts like chocolate making kits, dryland training snowshoe challenges on Strava, and introducing online waivers and curbside pick up of badges. All of these will be beneficial for years to come. I can only imagine the innovation that will come out of the pandemic for all of us in our day-to-day lives, with the vaccine roll-out being the first of many, I am sure. Celebrating Alpine’s 60th anniversary is a time of thankfulness for all of us. Whether you have just joined, or are a long-time member, we are all bound together by our love of downhill sports and the history we share, dating back to the founders who had the vision and the entrepreneurial spirit to establish our award-winning Club. Alpine’s heritage is based on volunteerism and we are fortunate to have a great Board to help us navigate through the pandemic, along with the Grey Bruce Health Unit, the Ontario Snow Resorts Association, Canadian Ski Council, Alpine Ontario, Ontario Snowboard, and Canadian Ski Patrol. Please join me in recognizing our now Past President, Steven Koster and retired Directors for their contributions: Michael Morse (Past President), Jed Barach (Food & Beverage), Don French (Membership), and Philip Taylor (Strategic Planning & Past President). Joining the Board are Peter Moorhead (Food & Beverage), Fiona SkeldingBarach (Membership) and Terence Woodside (Infrastructure). As we embrace our commemorative 60th season, I would like to also thank Bill Williams, the Alpine staff and Men with Knives for their thoughtful planning and extra effort to ensure that we can safely enjoy the Alpine experience, even during a global pandemic.
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arch 13, 2020 was a game-changer. After my many years in the ski industry, 36 of them as the General Manager of Alpine, I was faced with decisions I could never have anticipated. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon; the sun was shining on perfect spring skiing conditions. The schools were preparing for March Break, but this would go on record as the longest March Break ever because shortly the province announced they were extending the school break for an additional 2 weeks to help contain the spread of a new global virus, COVID-19.
“WHEN I ARRIVED AT ALPINE IN THE SUMMER OF 1985, I DROVE UP TO A SMALL SKI AREA, WITH THREE T-BARS, TWO DOUBLE CHAIRS, ALMOST NO SNOWMAKING, AND A SMALL CLUBHOUSE. SOME WOULD SAY IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT! MY GOAL WAS AND CONTINUES TO BE: TO BRING OUT THE BEST THAT ALPINE HAS TO OFFER. WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY TOGETHER.”
As the afternoon progressed, further restrictions were added limiting gathering sizes, which led to the cancellation of all our March Break Programs. Saturday brought additional government orders, and by mid-afternoon, we were communicating that the Club would close for the season on Sunday, March 15, at 1:00 pm. It was one of the saddest days of my career. What ensued was months of navigating the unknown. Daily meetings and strategy sessions covering everything from financial repercussions to operational considerations. Alpine’s 60th anniversary and the Club is in the midst of a global pandemic. Alpine has faced many challenges but none quite like this. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO BIG IDEAS: INFRASTRUCTURE
During my time as GM, our infrastructure has always been a priority. Upon my arrival at Alpine, there was only a water-based snowmaking system. My first summer here we installed a new water and air system, laid pipe on many trails, and introduced tower guns to improve the snowmaking quality. To support this expansion, we had to construct a snowmaking pond. The size of the pond was doubled five years later. During the early 2000s, the Club was looking to develop a pod of runs on the far north side of the property, now known as The Steeps. This development involved the first installation of automated snowmaking at Alpine. To facilitate all of our snowmaking water requirements we purchased waterfront property, built a pumphouse and (as we like to say) put a straw 535 feet long into the Bay. This was a drastic change in our snowmaking technology and capabilities, is an area that we still focus on, and an on-going education that I enjoy. Recently, we added a GPS to all of our Pisten Bully grooming machines. This allows us to monitor snow depth so we can be extremely efficient in where and how much snow we need to make. Technology is always evolving, impacting, and improving how we do business. The evolution of our base area cannot go without mention. The clubhouse went through an extensive renovation and reopened in the 1997 season, the North Warming Hut was built and the Summit Chalet went through a substantial facelift. But nothing changed the vibe of Alpine like our new clubhouse. We built the clubhouse over 54 weeks starting in the spring of 2015 and opened for the 2016-17 season. July of 2016 saw the old clubhouse come down and the birth of a new Alpine culture. I would never have believed the positive changes that the new building drove. We became a more social Club because we now had a social space designed for our members. SKIDOODLE 2021 7
THINKING UPHILL IN A DOWNHILL SPORT: LIFTS
THOUGHTFUL TEAMWORK: THE ALPINE WAY
The North side saw lift improvements during 1999 when we removed the old double chair and replaced it with another quad chair; the Millennium Chair. Appropriately named, based on the timing. The following two summers saw the design, trail cutting, and installation of another quad chair bringing The Steeps to life for the winter season of 2003-04. We now had three very distinct pods of terrain offering some of the steepest groomed runs in Ontario. We were truly on the map as a premier facility.
When I arrived at Alpine in the summer of 1985, I drove up to a small ski area, with three T-Bars, two double chairs, almost no snowmaking, and a small clubhouse. Some would say it was love at first sight! My goal was and continues to be: to bring out the best that Alpine has to offer. We have come a long way together.
Can you imagine Alpine without our 6-person high-speed chairlift? Do you remember the T-Bars, including one that went over a culvert while skiers glided over it? That era ended in 1988. That was one of the most memorable summers I have spent at the Club. We replaced those T-Bars with two four-person quad chairs; the Arrowhead Chair, and the Challenge Chair. We were now the envy of the ridge. Those chairs served us well and one still does today, but history was about to happen. In the summer of 2002, we removed the double chair that had served us on the South side since 1970 and installed our Summit Express. If the other clubs weren’t already trying to keep up, this would surely make them take a second look!
But expert skiing isn’t our only focus, as a family club, the beginner facilities were always a consideration. We replaced two generations of handle tows, hated by all beginners with an easy-to-use moving magic carpet. Before the construction of the new clubhouse, we sold and replaced our first magic carpet, moved it to the opposite side of Square One, and completely regraded the beginner hill. SKIDOODLE 2021 8
All of the infrastructure projects were carefully thought out and executed with the member experience as our top priority. But infrastructure is not the only element required to run the Club. I am proud and fortunate to have worked with so many member volunteers as they dedicated their time to the various Boards and committees responsible for moving Alpine to where it is today. That was an education I could not have received anywhere else. The Management team is seasoned and experienced. Mark Collins, our Operations Manager, and Kim Roberts, our Programs Manager (and then some), have been my left and right arms for over 25 years. Teamwork makes it happen and teamwork, with a dose of innovation, will see us through the challenges presented by the 2021 season.
“What have I gotten myself into?” - Bill Williams was hired as General manager in 1985. Fun Fact: Bill was a licensed helicopter and commercial fixed wing pilot.
nd here it is, the season of all seasons and not just because it is Alpine’s 60th anniversary. Coming up on 35 years working within Alpine programs, I would have thought that I’d seen it all—the lesson I suppose is to be mindful of one’s assumptions! When I took on the position of Alpine Program Manager for the 1999-2000 season, we also added Jason Manning, our Head Coach of ski racing, and Tyler King, Head of Snowboarding, to the team. We are, and have been, a strong unit that has learned to ‘pivot’ years ago. We have had season openings with no snow, where we have rented ice rinks, swimming pools, soccer fields, and even outhouses to go with them, but never have we dealt with a global pandemic. This is entirely uncharted territory in the Club’s 60-year history. Our joint philosophy has always been that while skiing and riding are the main events, the social and team-building components are also critical to everyone’s development. The 2020/21 season is now testing this philosophy, but I assure you, it will not defeat or define us. KIM ROBERTS
ALPINE PROGRAM MANAGER
“I KNOW THE MEMBERS OF OUR ALPINE FAMILY WILL STILL FIND WAYS TO CELEBRATE AND EXPRESS THE LOVE FOR THEIR CLUB AND WHAT WE VALUE MOST ABOUT IT; THE SKIING, RIDING AND THE PRIZED CAMARADERIE. IT’S WHO WE ARE.”
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME: PROGRAMS
When I first took over the Ski School Director position in 1993, there was no snowboarding, the staff was made up of 35 pros and the coaches were a separate entity unto themselves. That year we had about 20 kids in our Christmas camp and 90 children in junior ski seasonal programs, with another 75 in junior race programs. Compare this to our average season enrollments over the last decade: we see 500 in junior snow programs, 300 athletes in our race program, in addition to about 200 adults engaged in racing and ski improvement programs, from beginners to Masters racers. To support this many participants, we now hire 175 ski & snowboard pros, five of whom are CSIA level IV’s, and 70 coaches. This puts program numbers at close to 1,250 participants of all ages. I think you would agree that this is strong engagement. In comparison with the other clubs on the ridge, when looking at program usage last season, we came out with the highest percentage of member enrollment in overall programs. These numbers are impressive. Alpine’s club engagement is vibrant. Through the years that I have been at Alpine, the Club has grown, matured and progressed. One thing that I cherish about this progression is that so much of the growth is from multigenerational families, mine included. I personally have enjoyed watching my children grow up on these hills. Their Alpine friends were in their respective wedding parties. They have developed bonds at Alpine that will last a lifetime. And this year my family will see three generations working within the snow school with my eldest grandson starting his pathway to being a pro through the assistant program (like many grandparents at the Club, this is a grandmother’s pride showing through, so apologies for taking this opportunity to gush).
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Family sums it up, Alpine is made of many families like ours, who are now three generations deep that are engaged at the hill. This type of growth has allowed Alpine to cultivate its collective personality, and support a strong vision and club values. SPEAKING OF THAT PIVOT
This season, COVID-19 has created a challenge greater than anything the Club has ever faced. We have spent countless hours trying to work out what the season will look like, how it will operate, and how we keep everyone safe, all while offering an exceptional member experience. I know that we have race coaches, ski pros and snowboard pros all anxiously waiting to do what they love; working with the Alpine membership. The support they have shown through this pandemic and their continued commitment speaks volumes regarding their skill and professionalism. What a great team. In trying to put COVID-19 in perspective, my adopted ‘positive’ attitude is that we have four months of winter that we will need to get through in this most unconventional way imaginable. But there is light at the end of the tunnel with the development and distribution of vaccines is on the horizon. My hope is that we all weather the storm knowing that our next winter season SKIDOODLE 2021 10
should be something resembling what we all know and love, and that moving forward, we will appreciate this with a new depth of understanding. Nothing stays the same forever and we should take nothing for granted, not even 60 years of continuous, nearly uninterrupted, winter operations. Alpine has been built through passion and commitment on every level. Celebrating our 60th anniversary will not be the gala event we had envisioned and planned for. However, from my experience, I know the members of our Alpine Family will still find ways to celebrate and express the love for their club and what we value most about it; the skiing, riding and the prized camaraderie. It’s who we are.
Kim Roberts started at Alpine as Ski School Director in the 1993-94 season. Fun Fact: Kim is also a licensed hair stylist.
ROUND TABLE INCOMING DIRECTORS
Fiona has joined the Board as our new Membership Director. She and her family joined Alpine during the 50th anniversary season. At that time, the Skelding-Barach family lived in Chicago and commuted as full-time members for four years before moving back to Canada in 2014. Fiona and her husband Jed have two daughters, Parker (19) and Sloane (17) and together they have been active members as racers, coaches, instructors, Board members and other activities over the last ten years.
Fiona began her career in Technology where she had the opportunity to work with Ross Dainty (a long-time Alpine member). She has spent the last 25 years working for the Bank of Montreal in various disciplines from Risk Management to Marketing, to Corporate Real Estate. She received an undergrad degree from York University in Economics and an MBA from Dalhousie University. Fiona has served on the Nominating Committee and the Membership Committee for the last 2 years and is excited to continue her involvement with Alpine on the Board.
Having grown up playing hockey, Peter wasn’t introduced to Alpine until high school. Peter explained, “Friends brought me here and I still vividly recall that first visit. There was, as there is now, something very special about this place.” Peter taught skiing for several years after university and later joined with his wife Melissa. Together, they have since added two new intermediate members to the Club — their daughter Gwen (10) and son Fred (7) have grown up here and love their time in the U12 and U8 racing programs. As an avid Mono skier (friends call him Turbo), fellow members of the Alpine Mono Ski Association (AMSA) and Peter are very proud to host your annual Retro Day.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
When not at Alpine or enjoying cottage life in Thornbury, Peter and Melissa are proud owners of two service-focused Tim Hortons locations in Oakville where they are active within their community and franchisee network. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, Peter’s career path took him into sales leadership with global innovators in automotive and telecommunications before becoming a franchisee. “I am truly excited to be part of the Board within a club that our family truly loves and look forward to working with Men with Knives, our Administration and each Board member over the next four years”, says Peter.
Terence is a second-generation member gearing up for his 42nd year at Alpine. Following in the footsteps of his uncle and his dad, he joins the Board as the Director of Infrastructure. When not at Alpine, Terence is a partner at Fig 40, an award-winning design studio in Toronto. His degree in mechanical engineering and experience in manufacturing and design have also been well used at Alpine in his unofficial role as equipment and technical manager for Alpine’s Snowboard Race Program. Any child (or adult!) with an interest in snowboard racing will find themselves in touch with Terence to source equipment and get on a board. On the hill, Terence has also been a dedicated volunteer with Ontario Snowboard officiating and running the starting gates at provincial races. TERENCE WOODSIDE
Terence has a keen interest in the technological advances that can help us to have the best ski seasons possible given our climate challenges. He will bring creativity to the role and looks forward to working with Management to address both immediate concerns such as COVID-19 tracking as well as long term infrastructure challenges, including lifts, buildings, and terrain. SKIDOODLE 2021 11
REWARDING WORK: A PEEK INTO THE ALPINE PRESIDENCY
Jackie Berg, Gord Demetrick, Dawn Tattle
ALPINE PRESIDENT 1993-1994
“AS I LOOK BACK, MY TIME ON THE ALPINE BOARD WAS A VERY REWARDING PART OF MY LIFE NOW THAT I AM INTO MY ‘80S. I AM SURE PAST AND PRESENT BOARD MEMBERS AND PRESIDENTS FEEL SIMILARLY AND ARE PROUD OF THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO WHAT HAS BEEN A KIND OF 60-YEAR RELAY RACE.”
t is somewhat ironic that I am involved in anything to do with downhill skiing, let alone becoming President of a private ski club. You see, I was born and raised in the province of Saskatchewan, where the land is so flat you can watch your sled dog run away for about three days. I met my wife Lu-Anne at the University of Saskatchewan, we married in 1961 and went skiing on our honeymoon, and so began my lifetime passion for downhill skiing. Like many Alpine members, because Lu-Anne and I skied, our two daughters, Dawn Tattle and Jackie Berg learned to ski at a young age. Eventually, both of my children became second-generation members of the Club. Like me, they are both engineers and all three of us have served as Infrastructure Director on the Alpine Board. Also, like me 28 years before, Jackie is now Alpine’s current President; making her tenure one of the two family legacy presidencies at the Club, something I expect we’ll see more of when other second and third-generation members step into the role as future Presidents. Ontario private ski clubs are somewhat unique to the skiing world. Instead of relying on daily ticket sales as their primary revenue source, the private clubs rely mainly on their membership fees to fund their operations and capital expenditures projects. In addition, private ski clubs such as Alpine rely on the expertise of their members to step up and work alongside management to run the Club for a given term on behalf of the greater membership. This work by members on committees, portfolio Directors and as President is critical to the Club’s success and the enjoyment of our members. When I was President in 1993 through 1994, Canada was in the grip of a recession, which meant the Club had to be careful with its capital expenditures, but still offer a great skiing and social experience for the membership. There was little to no growth in the size of the membership. During those years our clubhouse was well-used but a little rundown. Mike Stoneham was treasurer, and he along with General Manager Bill Williams, kept watchful eyes on expenses and purse strings. We always seemed to rely on member Greg Martin to come up with solutions to clubhouse renovation problems and stay within budget during a recession. I recall telling him at one point “if one coat of paint doesn’t
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ROUND TABLE hold it together give it a second coat.” And he did a heck of a job, even with coordinating colours! All joking aside, a lot of work and planning is needed to keep Alpine’s infrastructure in good, working order, and this can only be achieved with the skills that Board members bring to their portfolios and ultimately how the President and GM decide to proceed given the available options. In addition to the ongoing maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure, on occasion, there is a need to build anew. During my tenure, Alpine had a small aging maintenance shed on the south side for Mark Collins and his operations team. It was falling apart and too small for our needs. We decided it was a priority to invest in a large maintenance shed between the administration building and the north flats to provide convenient access to all hills, with enough storage for Alpine’s current and future grooming fleet. The same shed is in use today because of the planning and foresight of management and the Board at the time. While I and the Board were involved in the planning and execution of several projects, it is also important to note that we can’t accomplish everything on our agenda due to limited
time and funds. This is why the continuity of the Board is so critical to the ongoing success of Alpine. I’ll share another example to make my point; until the 1990s, Alpine’s sole source of water was from the pond so we really had to budget our water usage. Alpine could only make snow for a limited number of hours per week. More recent Boards were able to install a water supply pipe into Georgian Bay, removing the replenishment of the pond as a limiting factor in the snowmaking process. This greatly enhanced our snowmaking abilities and shows how incremental improvements through good decision-making spanning several Boards are beneficial to our membership. I was fortunate to work closely with Bill Williams, and have a strong group of volunteers that donated their time to be part of the 60-year legacy of Alpine Ski Club. As I look back, my time on the Alpine Board was a very rewarding part of my life now that I am into my ‘80s. I am sure past and present Board members and Presidents feel similarly and are proud of their contributions to what has been a kind of 60-year relay race. Congratulations to Alpine on your 60th anniversary, I am honoured to have been part of that Alpine legacy.
KEEP CALM & CARRY ON By Meg Wilson
Alpine Ski Club begins the 2021 season, which also happens to be its 60th
anniversary, with unique challenges that it has never faced before. This year, our staff and Board are dealing with a once-in-a-hundred-years pandemic, and still, they were able to open the Club, albeit with considerable modifications, in midDecember. As a membership, we must give great credit to Bill, Mark, Kim, Julie and their staff for their Herculean efforts. However, in retrospect, this is not the first time the Club has faced and risen above challenges.
Allow me to reminisce and reflect for a bit. I joined a nondescript small travelling ski club in 1957, for what was at the time the considerable initiation fee of $5.00, in addition to the annual dues of $6.50 for singles and $10.00 for married couples, plus the cost of gas. As a travelling club, the original members carpooled with those who did not have cars so that everyone could enjoy the newest craze—winter sports. At the time there was hockey and figure skating, but it was only in the late 1950s, well after the depression and the war, that winter pleasure sports became a reality for many in Canada. Who knew at the time that this modest group of avid skiers would build the Alpine Ski Club that we have today with the terrain and base area facilities which rival any resort in southern Ontario. At the start of the 1960 season, the membership confronted their first challenge: The Club had grown to a point where we needed a hill of our own, but where to buy such a property? The vision of creating a permanent ski facility, led by our President, Hans Kent, was a daunting one, but with some clever negotiating and SKIDOODLE 2021 13
ROUND TABLE greatly expanded the on-hill experience. Over time, rope tows were replaced by T-bars and then eventually quad chairs because one cannot, and often should not stop progress. Eventually, the scope of the operations required the membership to hire the expert skills of a dedicated operations team as grooming and snowmaking technologies became available. The Club’s new groomers were a welcome novelty at the time, which put an end to the morning side-stepping of the hill to create a skiable surface with Ontario snow. Operating a ski club is no small feat, and it requires meticulous planning, sometimes decades in the making, which would not be possible without a top-notch operations department. The challenge of the Club’s base area needs must not go without mention and the area has gone through several revisions during my time. It truly has been exciting to watch different Boards work to improve our clubhouse experience, starting with a foundation and tar paper roof that has eventually evolved into a modern facility that is now the envy of the Escarpment.
Joan Farano and Meg Wilson at Ladies’ Day 2019
a little vision, the membership rose to the challenge and found the property we have loved for the last 60 years. However, with a new property, came new challenges. Now we needed infrastructure; hills cut, lifts built and a clubhouse to warm ourselves during the day and to enjoy après in the afternoons. Further, we needed to continue to build our membership to support these new ventures. The key was to transition the membership from a group of young, avid skiers who were singles and young married couples to a club that embraced all ages. Alpine was now a place for families to enjoy the outdoors together and we developed the programs to match this new club demographic. Successive Alpine Boards met each new challenge with eyes to the future. Early on, the base area had modest facilities, but year over year, infrastructure was added by the emerging new leadership, with luxuries such as a ‘bunker’ with a tar paper roof, and novelties like running water. Eventually, modest food services were added, where one of our first chefs, Jessie Plews, ran an excellent kitchen with military precision, to the delight of many families for whom she had breakfast and warm lunches waiting. Over the coming years and decades, members met the on-hill challenges by cutting new runs by hand which SKIDOODLE 2021 14
I have had the privilege of attending many Alpine landmark anniversaries where there was the opportunity to reflect on past challenges and how we triumphed. This also makes me very confident in the Club’s future when I look at the work our volunteer Board continues to do and where I see many new families and new faces making their own Alpine memories. Two events that come to mind, and in many ways encompasses my feelings when asked to write a piece for the Alpine 60th anniversary Skidoodle; our 40th anniversary celebration was an evening to thank our founding President, Hans Kent, for his leadership and to acknowledge the continuity of leadership that has allowed generations to congregate and enjoy their shared love of winter sports. Our 50th anniversary honoured Alpine’s original members with a wonderful evening of food and dancing, which is a particularly fond memory for me. As I write this, I believe there are lessons we can glean from our past challenges: Alpine’s successes have always come from sound Management and the ability to not stand still, but to push forward. The Club and its members have become experts at embracing change and renewal—It is what we do, and we do it well. We have always been a club of members, run by members for members, and that is a great thing. As we celebrate 60 years of continuous operation at Alpine, we must confront a new adversity; a once-in-a-century test during these COVID-19 days. Alpine has opened having to deal with an utterly unique situation and definite guidelines that it must adopt. I urge all members to respect the modifications mandated by the Ontario Government and the Grey-Bruce Health Unit to keep themselves and their families safe. We can do it. Alpine must look forward with the goal of doing our part in beating this pandemic. This challenge is not an easy one, but we will succeed as we always have, because ultimately life is for living with a smile and a belief in the future.
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VISIT WWW.ALPINESKICLUBSHOP.COM SKIDOODLE 2021 15
We all know Retro Day as a member-favourite après every March. This year the term retro takes on a whole new meaning as we celebrate our 60th anniversary and we take the Club back to its roots. As many of our members will remember, back in the day Alpine members took the party back to their chalets, brewing mulled wine by the fire while strumming the guitar. This season, we will encourage members to get back to this time-honoured tradition and here’s how we can help you to do so…
1960-1963 “A PICNIC TABLE, A GUITAR, AND A WINESKIN”
The resourceful founders of Alpine came up with ways of establishing a ski club without a clubhouse. They did their après-ski socializing in local restaurants and in the cottages that Club members had begun building around the edges of the property. Doris Smith, one of the founding members, remarked: “All you needed was a picnic table, a guitar, a wineskin, and you had a party.” SKIDOODLE 2021 16
WHAT’S COOKING? By Julie Carter of Men with Knives
Spending time with family and friends is at the heart of Alpine’s time-honoured traditions. For the 2021 season, Men with Knives (MWK) food and beverage team has met every challenge with an expanse of new menu offerings so that you can keep the Alpine spirit alive whether through Saturday après, or ordering take-home meals for your family. Food and beverage options at the Club have never been easier to access whether at home or at the hill. With a robust new online ordering system, members can navigate both on-site and take-home options online. Simply login to the Alpine website and access the ‘Order Food’ link to browse the menus.
and small batch meats including tacos, fondues, burgers, ribs and pulled pork are available every Thursday to Saturday for curb-side pick up at the Club. Don’t see anything for you? Contact Men with Knives to create a custom order to meet your family’s needs. 3. MWK BODEGA
No time to visit your local brewery? Not sure which wine to enjoy around the fire? Our beer, wine and spirit partners have teamed up with us to create take-home packages and cocktail kits available for pickup at the Club. In the spirit of supporting local, we will be featuring a season or weekly ‘Wine & Cheese’ selection from one of our Ontario wineries. We will even be offering virtual events including a Whiskey Tasting with a Jack Daniels’ brand ambassador.
2. WHAT’S FOR DINNER? MWK READY-TO-GO MEALS
Men with Knives catering has been taking care of the Alpine family for seven years and will continue to ensure you and your family are well fed and hydrated so you can get out and make the most of winter.
Your favourite après events are still on the schedule! Themed ‘après-to-go’ kits for Alpine’s traditional Saturday afternoon events are available to order all season to bring back to your chalet. Don’t miss out on shucked oysters and sparkling wine, Chicago 58 smoked meat deli platters, martini cocktail kits and charcuterie boards as well as your favourite Robbie Burns meat pies! MWK offers an enhanced ‘ready-to-go’ menu with prepared dishes such as our panko crusted mac ‘n’ cheese, coconut vegan curry, cabbage rolls and cottage pie. Meal kits, winter classics
Kids’ Social Buzz
By Kim Giffen
Alpine is a family Club honouring our traditions and creating memories for our kids. This season, your kids can choose from a variety of activities from the comfort of your home including virtual experiences and do-it-yourself kits. We are delighted to offer craft kits from The Creative Station for purchase online at thecreationstation.ca and available for pick up curb-side at Alpine. We have a memorable 60th anniversary keepsake craft kit that the whole family can participate in creating. Stemming back to our early days as a Club, our founding families made family crests to signify their roots at Alpine and this year, let’s rise to the occasion to celebrate 60 years and create our own family plaque. Share a photo of your masterpiece for a chance to win a prize! We have a number of virtual interactive activities planned, and unique and fun crafts to challenge and empower your children this winter which are for specific ages. When you order online, each Creative Craft Bag contains: ● Developmentally appropriate crafts that foster creativity, self-expression, and skill acquisition ● All supplies needed ● Clear instructions Stay connected with your Alpine family all season long, whether together or apart. SKIDOODLE 2021 17
SOCIALITE (THEN) When Alpine began, the rituals of “après-ski,” the silly hats and crazy antics, the dress-up parties, the themed events, had always been part of the folklore of modern skiing, and Alpine was quick to make these off-the-hill joys available to its members. What started as “work parties” became the great social events we know and love today like Festival Day and the Dummy Downhill.
SKIDOODLE 2021 18
SKIDOODLE 2021 19
SOCIALITE (NOW) 60 years later, the feeling remains the same as Alpine families continue to enjoy creating winter memories that last a lifetime, both on- and off-the-hill.
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Photograph by Julie Card
SKIDOODLE 2021 21
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BANDS By Daniel Kolber
omegrown music groups at Alpine surely have a history that dates to before my family joined the Club when I was a teenager in 1988. In the intervening 33 years, however, I do know there have been various musical acts that have entertained our members and guests throughout the seasons, be it at après-ski events, Men’s or Ladies’ Day, the belated Red Badge Bash for staff, or of course New Year’s Eve. These acts have ranged in style from jazz to traditional Scottish Highland bagpipers for the annual Robbie Burns Après, and the perennial eponymous rockers Arden & The Tourists headlined by Alpine member Arden McManus with her husband Glenn Schofield on sax. The Lighthouse Jazz is best recognized at Alpine for their performances during the Alpine’s Martini Après over the past few years. The band’s extensive repertoire has entertained thousands of jazz enthusiasts and music lovers over the years in the Collingwood/Blue Mountains area. Tony Petrella (drums, and a keen adult racer) is a long-standing Alpine member and introduced Alpine to the band. Lighthouse Jazz started in the summer of 2016 at the Lighthouse Point Recreation Centre where Daniel McLaughlin (vocals), Richard (piano/guitar) and Matthew Notarfonzo (saxophone), a father/son duo, collectively started as a trio, later adding bass and drums to the quintet.
A recent addition to this musical tradition is Ridin’ the ‘Pine, which I believe to be the Club’s first members-only band. Comprised of John Glover, Mik Perlus, Dan Kuzmarov, Kevin Kilmer-Choi, and myself, the band entertains with a multi-generational mix of blues, country and rock-centric hits. We came together as an afterthought for entertainment at the 2019 Deli Après, when I approached Mik at lunch about one month before the après, to see if he was interested in putting on a show as I had seen him impressively play his acoustic guitar and sing at the Upper Chalet. He said ‘yes’, and when asked if he knew a bassist, he pointed to Kevin standing about 15 feet away...and we’ve been jamming together ever since. The most fun we’ve had as a band was playing outdoors on the clubhouse deck in the blazing sun during March Break 2019. Having played drums in numerous bands in bars, clubs, and halls for 35 years, I can tell you, mixing my passion for music and my passion for the skiing lifestyle—life does not get any better! Certainly, having a big, bright open area in our wonderful new clubhouse has sweetened the membership’s desire for more musical entertainment, and hopefully, there are more member acts in the works. Plans are underway for more musical events at Alpine—hopefully, you will tune in for the show!! SKIDOODLE 2021 23
ALPINE TIMELINE “The history of Alpine mimics the contours of its slopes. There are downhill runs, some gentle, some steep. There are periods of expansion, when the economy is booming and lots of people want to join. Then there are the plateaus, where the slope flattens out and you can pause and enjoy the spectacular view before continuing on down the hill. There are periods of economic downturn, when the Club goes into a holding pattern, membership may flatten, maintenance takes precedence over acquisition, Boards retrench. But appearances can be deceiving. Often the quiet times are when the next big thing is quietly, unobtrusively gestating, waiting to be born.” - Walter Traub, Past President (1995-96)
1957 Hans Kent and a group of friends create a travelling ski club. Hans Kent becomes the first President of the Alpine Ski Club of Toronto 1962 Additional 80 acres 1959 October: purchased Skidoodle No. 1 is published, dated First October 7 cottages constructed in the valley
1964 Completion of first clubhouse, “The Bunker”
1973 Second chair lift installed on the new North side
1960 1960 September 30: Alpine property purchased. Volunteers help clear the land to open with 3 runs and a rope tow in December
1970 Completion of 1,200 square foot clubhouse addition “The Mine Shaft” built on top of The Bunker. First chair lift installed. “Lover’s Lane” becomes the Club’s newest and longest run
1985 North-side snowmaking system installed
1970 1966 Blue T-bar replaces rope tow
1971 First “Gentleman’s Day” held Little Kids’ Club childcare services begin
1985 Bill Williams hired as General Manager
1976 First “Ladies’ Day” held
1980 1975 Several seasons of poor snow conditions lead to serious discussions about snowmaking
1980 New addition to the clubhouse opened Mad Skier enshrined in by-law as the Club’s logo in perpetuity
Denotes major milestones in Alpine’s history SKIDOODLE 2021 24
2000 Completion of lakeside pump house providing the “Straw” to our snowmaking became a reality. Fun fact: Alpine owns a 20 foot wide by 300 feet long piece of land under Hwy 26 and into the Bay
1987 Alpine celebrates its 25th anniversary
2016 Old clubhouse demolished and new clubhouse opens
2001 Alpine celebrates its 40th anniversary
2002 Challenge Chair and the old Summit Chair replaced by a high-speed, detachable lift, 6 passenger “Summit Express”. Work begins on The Steeps
1990-1992 First snowboarders appear
1995 First Dummy Downhill race held
Three aging T-bars replaced with two fixed grip quad lifts, the Arrowhead Chair and the Challenge Chair
1997 Expanded clubhouse opens and a half-pipe is inaugurated on the South Side
2014 Derek Livingston makes his Olympic debut at the Sochi Winter Games competing in Men’s Halfpipe
2018 CNN Travel names Alpine in its list of the “top 9 private ski resorts in the world”
2003 Completion of The Steeps with Steeps quad chair, fully automated snow making and winch cat
1999 Completion of North Warming Hut. Millennium quad chair replaces the North chair. Lakefront property for future pumphouse purchased 1988 Pam Newall becomes Alpine’s first female President.
2016 Adoption of new NextGeneration program
2010 Alpine at the Olympics Palmer Taylor competes in women’s snowboard halfpipe 2006 Detailed plans developed in consultation with CGL Architects, Bob Green to expand existing clubhouse
2005 Planning for future clubhouse expansion begin
2020 Club closes beginning of March Break as a result of COVID-19
2018 Alpine cheers on two Olympians; Roni Remme (Alpine Skiing) and Derek Livingston (Halfpipe) Alpine wins “Club of the Year” at the Ontario Ski Racing Awards
SKIDOODLE 2021 25
As Alpine celebrates its 60th season on Arrowhead Road, we take a look back at the storied history of a club that began in 1957 when a handful of passionate skiers, led by Hans Kent and others, came together to make the most of winter.
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Alpine at Home By Paul Wilson and Patricia Grant
Sunday, March 8, 2020. A crisp, bright afternoon and not a cloud on the horizon, at least for now. It was the end of Club
Championship weekend at Alpine. On Saturday, there were junior races in which over three hundred kids took part, twenty-five of whom were under five years old. Then on Sunday morning and afternoon, the adults took to the slopes, and though their races were more for fun than glory, the atmosphere was still intensely competitive. Later that afternoon, following Alpine tradition, medals and trophies would be handed out in the clubhouse.
The season so far had been practically flawless, with natural powder often blanketing the hills overnight, and the runs, as usual, groomed to near perfection. The new clubhouse, into its fourth full season of operation, had long since converted skeptics into supporters. Guest skiers and travelling ski club members who’d been at different clubs throughout the season told us that, of all the clubhouses along the Ridge, Alpine’s was the most perfectly suited to a skier’s needs. The Club was well on its way to having its best season ever. At a Town Hall meeting on March 1, the Club President, Steven Koster, gave members an upbeat “state-of-the-union” summary of the year so far. A significant number of new members had joined the Club; the debt incurred in building the clubhouse was being aggressively paid down and Alpine could soon begin to invest in new infrastructure. Now, on Adult Race Day, we were sitting in the sunroom of the Leistner chalet on Cottage Row just across the Bridge to the North, talking to Henry and his daughter Linda about the Club they’ve belonged to for most of Henry’s life. Henry and Linda had been competing with the Fun and Glory skiers that morning, and Henry, who describes himself as a “happy, contented eighty-fiveyear-old grandpa,” was relaxing in a black-and-white checked
flannel shirt that complemented his grey hair and salt-and-pepper beard. Clipped on a lanyard around his neck was an Alpine member badge with the inscription, “Founding Member,” a category that commands a lot of respect around the Club. The Leistner chalet is the oldest building on the Arrowhead Road property. Henry and his brother Eberhard––at the time both recent immigrants from Stützengrün, a mountain town in what was then East Germany–– built the basic structure in 1960 and, not unlike the clubhouse, they’ve renovated and expanded it several times to meet the needs of their growing clan. The final expansion came when Henry and Linda bought a second chalet further up the hill. Over the past sixty years, the Leistner family tree has grown to include well over twenty members and the majority of the extended Leistner family, now spanning three generations, converge on the chalets every winter weekend to spend time together on and off the hill. For the Leistners, the view from that window evokes a lot of memories. On a cold, clear morning sixty years ago, the young Henry stood on his skis with the Club’s founder, Hans Kent (also an immigrant from Europe) and three other Alpine members –– Mike Wolfe, Chris Bicknell, and someone else whom no one can remember –– at the bottom of the future ABC run, looking
You may recognize Paul Wilson and Patricia Grant for the considerable time they spent at the Club last season interviewing members of all ages. Paul and Patricia are full of historical Alpine information, as they authored “The Alpine Story”, our 50th anniversary book. If you haven’t read it, pick up a copy of “The Alpine Story” at the Club this season. These heritage moments were captured during their time at the Club and written by Paul & Patricia. SKIDOODLE 2021 27
ALPINE AT HOME
Founding members, circa 2009
up at a thickly forested, snow-covered hillside they were thinking of buying on behalf of the Alpine Ski Club of Toronto. They liked what they saw, and although they were shocked by the asking price –– $10,000 dollars –– a week later, the Alpine Board made the executive decision to buy the nearly fifty-acre tract. For the rest of that year, until the start of the first season that December, squads of Alpiners, Henry and his brother Eberhard among them, came up on weekends to clear the hill of brush and trees and set up a rudimentary rope tow, to prepare the Club for its first year on Arrowhead Road, thus establishing two of the most vital elements in the Alpine DNA –– volunteerism and self-reliance. Adult Club Championships day is one of the most intimate and relaxed events on the busy Alpine social calendar. It is the Club at home with itself. On our many visits to the clubhouse during the season, we noticed that the atmosphere was never the same from one event to the next. On quiet mid-week afternoons, despite the lofty ceilings and spectacular views of the hill to the south and Georgian Bay to the north, it felt like a private lounge, with small groups of people sitting together chatting, or individuals tucked away in corners reading books or magazines while sipping on coffee. At weekend events, the place felt more like a busy public square that could accommodate almost any kind of gathering. With its more traditional design and eccentric layout, the previous clubhouse tended to impose its character on events that took
place inside it, so that the après-skis, while very different in theme, would feel similar, at least to us, as observers. Now, in the new clubhouse, it was how the space was used that determined the atmosphere, not the other way around. Men’s Day, for instance, felt at times like a bustling village fair or a farmers’ market, with people milling about, sampling the wares offered by local breweries, distilleries, outfitters, car dealers and fundraisers. The Robbie Burns Day après ski, along with generous helpings of haggis, tatties and neeps, featured a bagpipe band playing Highland music at full volume, without seeming overwhelming or out of place. The remarkable thing, it seemed to us, was that people related to each other differently in this clubhouse. They seemed more open, both among themselves, and with the guests and strangers in their midst. While the building committee believed that a deliberate change in the circulation facilitated by the new clubhouse would change the atmosphere and the behavior of the members, the architect, Bob Green, did not deliberately set out to create a clubhouse that would change people’s behavior, but he is not surprised that it has. “People don’t realize the impact that good architecture has on their lives,” he told us. “In a great architectural environment, people don’t necessarily think about it, but it can actually change your mood and how you think and how you feel.”
FOUNDING MEMBERS Hans & Irene Kent Bob Bayer Ruth Beerli Chris Bicknell SKIDOODLE 2021 28
John Distin Henry Leistner Norman Miller Doug Smith
Walter Warner Ron Williams Meg Wilson Michael Wolfe
ALPINE AT HOME
Building committee member Kokie Fiand, responsible for overseeing the interior design, deliberately avoided adding any jarring elements to the building’s décor, like works of art, that could distract from the neutrality of the space. “The people, with their colourful ski gear are the artwork,” she said.
of the architecture and the accommodating layout of the building promise a great future for Alpine. Henry Leistner was on the mark when he said with reference to the new clubhouse: “It took over fifty years…but they’ve finally got it right.” How they “got it right” is a story that is rooted in Alpine’s past and in its culture. “To me the ‘Alpine Way’ is a thoughtful approach,” said Michael Morse, a long-time member of the Club and its President from 2017-2018. “We don’t rush into things. We spend a lot of time debating the issues, but it's a very thoughtful debate.” The process of conceiving, designing, and building this clubhouse went on for almost a decade. Designing the new intermediate membership program under Michael’s guidance was no less thoughtful. “Those two things changed the trajectory of the Club,” Michael said. “We took the same deliberative approach with the intermediate membership program as we did with the clubhouse.
The most frequent observation about the new clubhouse is that it’s been a “game-changer.” It has driven an increase in new members bringing the Club back to historical levels. Events are better attended and go on longer than before. In the old clubhouse, for instance, the slopes would close around 4:00, people would come in for a quick drink, and by 5:00 the place was basically empty. Today it’s still packed at 7:30. There is a new cohesiveness, confidence, and pride in the Club. Family members who may not be keen skiers now have a place to hang out while their spouses or children are on the hill. And with its new catering, dining, and entertaining facilities, the clubhouse is bringing in new revenue both during We spent two years debating it, soliciting feedback from the the ski season and the green season. It is also helping membership. We took time. We approached it very thoughtfully to spread the reputation of Alpine well beyond its and I think we got it right.” membership base. But there is more to the transformation of the Club than the obvious changes. Because it encourages members and guests to associate freely and in new ways, the clubhouse will become an incubator of changes as yet unforeseen. The timelessness
A strong club culture like Alpine’s doesn’t emerge overnight. It’s the product of a long journey, one that – you might argue – began in a police station on Jarvis Street, Toronto, more than sixty years ago.
Founding member, Michael Wolfe with wife Eleanor ‘Jo’ Wolfe
SKIDOODLE 2021 29
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA
Doris Smith, circa 1964
The “No-Clubhouse Clause”
“ ometime in 1960, I was in my office at Maclean-Hunter,” Joan Meredith, Alpine’s first recording secretary recalled, “when suddenly there appeared two big, burly police officers to see me. They asked me about Alpine and I explained that we were a club of friends and acquaintances who loved skiing and were trying to help each other get the most out of it.” The cops were members of the Toronto Vice Squad, and they summoned Joan and the rest of the Board to the police station on Jarvis Street. “They’d done background checks on all of us,” Joan said. “They wanted to know whether the Club was just a front for gambling, or a drinking club, because in those days, when drinking was practically illegal in Toronto and gambling was outlawed, many people tried to get around it by forming private clubs and the police were always raiding these clubs and shutting them down. Anyway, it struck us as funny that they’d done such a thorough job to make sure we weren’t doing anything nefarious.” The authorities were evidently satisfied that Alpine was on the level, and that September, the Ontario Provincial Secretary issued the Letters Patent recognizing the Club’s mission to “encourage, develop and practice among amateurs, ski-running in all its branches, including touring, jumping, tests and competitions, and the promotion of good fellowship amongst its members and those of associated clubs.” Then came the big “But.” The Club could only operate, the Letters said, “PROVIDED . . . the Corporation shall not maintain a clubhouse or similar premises.” The founders of Alpine were resourceful people and they came up with ways of starting a ski club without a clubhouse. In the autumn of 1960, they cleared the first runs by hand, installed a do-it-yourself rope tow that one member described as a “death machine.” They relied on natural snow and did much of the grooming by hand. They built a primitive warming hut and basic washrooms that the Skidoodle – tongue firmly in cheek – claimed had “Hot and cold water and heated, fur-lined seats.” Off-hill, they warmed up around campfires, in their cars, or in Max Campbell’s SKIDOODLE 2021 30
Longhorn Café at Arrowhead Ranch. They did their après-ski socializing in local restaurants and in the cottages that Club members had started to build around the edges of the property. Doris Smith, one of the founders, remarked: “All you needed was a picnic table, a guitar, and you had a party.”
By 1964, Alpiners resolved to go ahead and build a clubhouse, ban or no ban. The first construction was a cinder-block basement built largely by member Ron Williams, with a kitchen and washrooms. Its flat roof was barely visible above ground level, which made it harder for a casual observer (or government inspector) to detect. Members began referring to it as “The Bomb Shelter” or “The Bunker” and the names stuck. In May 1965, the Board applied for an amendment to the Letters Patent but it would be two more years before “The Bunker” became legal. Alpine quickly outgrew the Bunker and there were serious disagreements about the next step. A ski-hill expert strongly recommended scrapping the Bunker altogether and building a new clubhouse further down the hill – prophetic advice indeed – but the suggestion caused such a furore that the Board backed down and decided to add to what they already had, thus setting a trend that would last until 2016.
Members also disagreed over what the next version of the clubhouse should look like. Former President Rino Stradiotto (1981-1982), recalled: “Some wanted a typical Swiss Chalet-style clubhouse, others wanted something modernistic, to put a whole
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA
new image on our Club. That was the kind of culture shift that was occurring. And then we went crazy and built a monstrosity.” Clubhouse number two, incorporating “The Bunker” as a basement, was indeed an odd-looking structure with a series of steeply-sloped, peaked elements that were meant to resemble mountains and hillsides. Many thought it looked like mine-shafts, and the nickname stuck. “It was an architectural nightmare, not only visually but functionally,” Rino said. “On a bright sunny day with white snow outside, you’d go inside and you couldn’t see a thing. There were no windows; it was poorly heated, the fireplace didn’t work properly, and the roof leaked.” During the 1970s, the Club tried to correct those mistakes. They installed bigger windows, added storage space, took down some of the offending and leaky “mine-shafts,” but nothing seemed to work. Except in one sense: the membership continued to grow and as it did, the clubhouse quickly became too small. In the midseventies, the Club started discussing the next step. Plans came to fruition in early 1979 when the membership approved a new 7,000 square-foot addition incorporating what was left of the old “mine-shaft” and the Bunker and adding to it a large dining room and upper lounge area. The work was completed in time for the opening of the 1979-80 season.
The “Bunker” (top), Clubhouse Number Three/1997 Addition
CLUBHOUSE NUMBER THREE
Clubhouse number three served Alpine for almost two decades. During the 1980s and early 1990s, the biggest changes in the Club were on the hill and in Management. 1985, for instance, was a banner year. Work began on a permanent snow-making system on the North Side. And that summer, Bill Williams was hired as General Manager, bringing an end to several years of unsteadiness at the helm, and beginning an era – which has lasted down to this day – of skilful, thoughtful, cooperative, and stable leadership. Alpine was becoming more professional in how it went about expanding its facilities and membership. 1987 saw the prototype of later and more elaborate forward planning documents: “Vision – Alpine 1990.” On the basis of a detailed membership survey, it set out a series of tasks for improving the on-hill and off-hill experience of its members. In 1988 the three aging T-bars were replaced by two new quad lifts, the Arrowhead Chair and the Challenge Chair. Meanwhile, the Board devised some controversial but effective measures to increase membership and it became clear that an expanded and renovated clubhouse was not only necessary, it was affordable. The Club had grown tired of “drab” and wanted something they could be proud of, something with “pizazz” as former President Walter Traub (1995-1996) put it. They hired Bob Green of CGL Architects to design the addition. When a high-hoe SKIDOODLE 2021 31
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA
finally knocked down the last of the old mine-shafts, it felt like the beginning of a new era. Clubhouse number four was open in time for the 1997-98 season.
VISIONS OF THE FUTURE
By now, the Club’s evolution was being guided by three elaborate long-term planning documents: “The Big Picture,” introduced in 1995, “The Heritage Plan” in 2001, and “The Legacy Plan” in 2005. Meanwhile, the Club engaged professional mountain consultants to come up with a “master plan” to assess the Club’s potential. Pressure was building for yet another major adjustment to the clubhouse – the fifth in the Club’s history. “The Legacy Plan” called for a shift in Club priorities from growth to balance and sustainability, which meant making sure that each component of the Club, like parking, snowmaking, lift capacity, SKIDOODLE 2021 32
hill capacity and clubhouse capacity, could accommodate the demands placed on it, and developing a funding model to guarantee that Alpine could cover operating and maintenance costs with enough left over for required annual capital expenses. In 2006, when Scott Thompson became President, the Board faced a number of interlocking problems. As always, the key piece of the puzzle was the clubhouse. Over the next two years, Scott, working again with architect Bob Green, and a huge assist from Alpine member Greg Martin, who had been instrumental in the 1997 expansion, drew up an attractive renovation and expansion proposal, including a levy, and presented it to the membership in 2008. The proposal passed, but shortly thereafter, cost estimates escalated, membership stalled and a world-wide financial crisis hit. The Board paused the project.
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA II
The Game Changer
lthough quick to give others credit, Philip Taylor – everyone seems to agree – was a key proponent of the new clubhouse. A longtime member of Alpine, Philip had always taken a keen interest in how the Club was run. He attended every Annual General Meeting since he was fifteen, and has been involved in the work of Alpine Boards continuously since 2006, including as President and Past President, from 2010 to 2014. “When I joined the Board,” Philip said, “I had a number of ideas about how to move Alpine forward. As the existing clubhouse was a substantial improvement from what I experienced growing up, these ideas had little to do with the clubhouse itself. It was Scott Thomson who convinced me that the state of the clubhouse was impacting negatively on our ability to attract members to replace natural attrition.” Philip says the real history of the new clubhouse began with those scrapped plans to renovate the old one. “For two years, Scott worked tirelessly on the renovation project and few will ever really know how much effort it took to get that project from concept to approval. Without that starting point, things may have played out much differently.” Bill Williams and Philip had been making comments to each other about building a new clubhouse for some time. In the spring of 2010, as he was about to become Alpine’s next President, Philip formally raised the matter with Bill Williams. “I told Bill that I really thought the right thing to do was to tear the clubhouse down and build a new one, and he looked at me and said, ‘That’s exactly what we should be doing!’ I laughed because I didn’t think it would be easy to get Board approval let alone the membership.
But Bill kept the pressure on me until late that June, when I held my first Board meeting. “I turned to the new Board and I said, ‘I would like to work with the architect over the summer to see if we can build a new clubhouse on a $10 million budget.’ It was a quick and unanimous ‘Yes.’” Having worked with a small committee and outside professionals, with the full support of the Board, Philip wrote to the membership in November 2010. “We have come to the conclusion,” he wrote in his President’s Message, “that a new facility is not only a viable option, both physically and financially, it is the only option.” Philip admits that the manner and timing of the announcement were not ideal. “People needed to see a fully developed plan,” he said. “However, that was going to take time. We wanted to be transparent and keep the membership informed about our work. The good news was that the membership was immediately engaged. As it was going to take time, the challenge was getting the membership onside in moving forward with a levy to fund the largest project in the Club’s history without a developed design. It was clear that we needed to build for the future. We had reached the point where a new clubhouse was not a ‘nice to have’ it was a ‘must have’.” SKIDOODLE 2021 33
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA II It was an uphill battle. The two main objections to the idea of a brand-new clubhouse were sentimental and financial. “There was a lot of emotion attached to the old clubhouse,” said Grant McEwen, who was President from 2014-2016. “My wife, Sarah, and I were married on the old deck, and the reception was upstairs in Ascot Hall. It was a beautiful room. A lot of members felt a strong attachment to it and weren’t keen on tearing it down.” “It was a difficult time,” Michael Morse said. “There was anxiety on the Board, anxiety among the membership because there were a number of different views and thoughts on how to proceed. Some felt that Alpine didn’t need to have the fanciest clubhouse or the most glamourous. Some said it was crazy that we were contemplating this much money to do something like that. Philip was under a lot of pressure.” In his President’s Message in January 2011, Philip argued that now was the time to do it. “With no material capital projects required for the next six to seven years,” Philip wrote, ‘we have the ability to complete and fund a new clubhouse without running up against other required capital projects. This is the perfect window of opportunity.” “Even so, there was still resistance,” Bill Williams said. “Concerns included cost generally, that we would price out the next generation, that we didn’t need a new building and that the design was too modern. While it is always hard to be all things to all people, we knew this was the right project.” By the time of the standing room only AGM in June 2011, the Board suspected they didn’t have enough support for the proposed levy being sought to fund a project with a design that had yet to be revealed. And so, realizing that a defeat could cause a serious setback, Philip started the AGM by announcing the
2011 THE CLUBHOUSE ROOF
removal of the levy proposal from the agenda. This provided time to focus on evolving the design to the point where it could be shown to the membership early the following season. Scott Thayer, a tireless champion of the new build, worked with member volunteer and architect David Pontarini and his team to prepare spectacular renderings of the building. During the 20112012 season, the renderings, along with various floor plans, were on display in the clubhouse at a place that came to be called the ‘Vision Wall’ where Scott and Philip with the support of other Board members, would stand and talk to members about the building and solicit their suggestions. “By the time we were building it, everybody, whether they liked it or not, had a pretty good sense of how it was going to be.” Neil Skelding said, “We also had people joining the Club because of the ‘Vision Wall’.” When the vote was held in June 2012, both the capital levy and the capital expenditure for the new clubhouse were approved by a narrow margin. When Neil Skelding took over as President after the vote, there was still a mountain of work to be done before the project could start including reinvigorating the membership “pipeline”. With excitement building, the help of a well-executed marketing plan and the efforts of management, the Board and its committees and individual Alpiners, there was an immediate uptick in new memberships. After three years of refinement, initial site work and planning, finally, on May 15, 2015, the shovels went into the ground. For the next season, there were two clubhouses, one being born, the other coming to the end of its days. Under the watchful eye of Grant McEwen who had taken over as President from Neil Skelding, the project was completed on time and on budget. Finally, in the spring of 2016, the Board, members of the 1997 building committee and the new building committee including Scott Thayer
Napkin sketch by David Pontarini
Like the Club itself, the clubhouse roof design has its own story. Architect Bob Green remembers his first encounter with Philip Taylor in early July 2010. “Philip called me and said, ‘I have no mandate, but I think there should be a new clubhouse. I can’t pay you right now, but would you be willing to work with me on some concepts?’ So I said, ‘I’ll do it on one condition: I don’t want to do it in the Tyrolean style like the old one was. I’d like to do something modern.’” “The reality is I’m a lawyer not a designer,” Philip said. “I agreed we should try and do something modern, but not overly modern. Bob did some designs, but we found ourselves struggling with things like circulation which also impacted the roof design. Part of the problem was me, because I had said everything should flow from the parking lot into the building, then up through the building and onto the hills. So I enlisted the help David Pontarini, a member of our Club and a world-renowned architect.” “I took David out for dinner and explained our problems. He said, ‘Nobody says you have to flow from the parking lot to the hill. The circulation and the stairs could go across the building and form a circulation spine.’ That suggestion freed us up to do all sorts of other things. While speaking, David also drew the roof line on the napkin exactly as it was ultimately built. Bob totally agreed with the suggestions and David was credited as design consultant.” SKIDOODLE 2021 34
THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA II
Board/Building Committee dinner, 2016 held a celebratory dinner in the old clubhouse followed by drinks in the newly completed clubhouse. Shortly thereafter the old clubhouse came down and by that fall, Michael Morse, who was now President, was ready to cut the ribbon. The grand opening took place in January 2017. Michael thanked the professional team and the many members who had volunteered their time and expertise to the building project and, in particular: Scott Thompson who during his term as President, started the process. Scott devoted much of his energy to educate the membership on the business case and led the development of a renovation plan that was approved by the membership. Greg Martin who was one of the driving forces behind the 1997 addition and was pulled back by Scott Thompson to assist in the renovation plan and again by Philip to assist in the new build. John Tattle who was recruited by Scott Thompson to assist in the renovation plan and again by Philip to assist in the new build including attending the weekly meetings to develop the concept. David Pontarini who was recruited by Philip in the early stages of the new build. During an introductory dinner, David effectively made a sketch of the roof that is almost identical to what was built and was instrumental in the development of the flow of the building coming up with the concept of what David termed the “circulation spine” running side to side rather than from parking to the hill. The rest of the design fell into place with that change. Neil Skelding who was treasurer during the development of the concept developed the financial model and ultimately led the Board immediately after the vote that approved the commencement of work and completed the site servicing work. Grant McEwen who worked with Neil on the initial financial model and succeeded Neil as President of the Board, led the Board during the construction phase. Steven Koster who as treasurer during the construction phase negotiated the financing with our banker, oversaw the budget, monitored each construction draw and played a key role as a member of the final iteration of the building committee.
Manfred Berg who was our director of infrastructure during the construction process and oversaw, among other things, the site servicing during the summer of 2014. Manfred also played a key role as a member of the final iteration of the building committee. Kokie Fiand who, handpicked by Scott Thayer for her expertise, was involved in every aspect of the interior design from colours to carpets and furniture. Jed Barach who, while pulled in after the start of construction, was critical to the development of the kitchen and was personally involved in sourcing and purchasing every piece of kitchen equipment and much of the furniture. Michael reserved a special thanks to Bill Williams who, as a constant from start to finish, shared in the vision and worked tirelessly through the planning and execution stages of the project, and, of course, to Scott Thayer, who succeeded (and preceded) Philip as Chair of the building committee, and was instrumental in getting the membership excited, solicited and incorporated membership feedback, ran the process that led us to selecting our contractor and spent countless hours evolving the design and publicly pouring his energy into the project even while fighting his battle with cancer. Above all, Michael thanked Philip Taylor. “In some ways,” Michael said, “I think it should be Philip standing here today and not me. To articulate or identify one particular item will not give justice to Philip’s contribution. Rather, Philip, I’m just going to say thank you – job well done.” While controversial during the approval process, after experiencing the outcomes, support for the clubhouse is nearly unanimous. In addition to fulfilling the needs of the membership and attracting prospective members to replace historical attrition, the clubhouse has become a preferred venue for corporate events, weddings and family celebrations all of which contribute to Alpine’s visibility and help maintain stable membership dues. In the end, it is no accident that Alpine has become the Club of choice. The new clubhouse revitalized the Alpine community and brought the Alpine experience to a new level. Alpine is downhill, defined. SKIDOODLE 2021 35
FOR A LIFETIME
CHILDREN GROWING UP IN THE ALPINE FAMILY HAVE AN EMOTIONAL CONNECTION TO THE CLUB. THE SPORTS, THEIR FRIENDS, THE ACTIVITIES, AND FAMILY TIME CREATE EXPERIENCES AND MEMORIES THAT ARE WOVEN INTO THE FABRIC OF THEIR LIVES. IT IS THE EXPERIENCE THEY KNOW AND IT’S ALSO ONE THEY WANT FOR THEIR OWN CHILDREN. SKIDOODLE 2021 36
ALPINE FOR A LIFETIME
Young adults of today have different lifestyle patterns than their parents: they are marrying and having children later, and postponing home ownership while they deal with student debt load. These practical realities have a way of interfering with membership considerations, but this needn’t be the case. Alpine’s flexible membership options give children of full-voting members the freedom to choose the option that best meets their particular needs. They are able to commit early to membership and reap financial and timerelated benefits, or to leave the decision until their lifestyle direction is decided without commitment.
Securing their future membership early gives them the assurance that the Club will remain a part of their lives, even while finishing their education, establishing careers, and starting families. And sharing the lifestyle with our children is what Alpine is all about.
LINDA LEISTNER Three generations of Alpine members and counting. When my parents joined Alpine oh so many years ago, in their early twenties, and before I was born, I’m sure they never imagined skiing into their 80’s and riding up the chairlift with their adult grandchildren. As I grew up, the Club had introduced a special program that made it possible for me to join as a “secondgen” member at a highly discounted rate. I was almost 30 and about to get married when I joined. Then, when my kids were in their early twenties, the Club created something new called the “intermediate member” program. The younger you were when you joined, the more of a cost savings. When that was announced, my husband Daniel and I sent both our kids to the Club’s information session. My eldest, Stefan, had taken a few years off of skiing and snowboarding when he was in University, and we weren’t sure if he’d be ready to commit and join. My daughter Melanie, coached part-time at the Club while she was at school, and we figured she’d already made that “life decision”. After the meeting, they came to me and asked if the Club needed a cheque the same day. They were both ready to join right then and there, and make that lifelong commitment – that’s when I really knew that my parents had made a great decision all those years before for us to become a ski family. I am proud to be a member of a club that has worked so hard to make this a place
for our family to come to, to be with each other and all of the old and new friends we have made over the years. As we enter into this ski season in unprecedented times, I am looking forward to skiing and snowboarding with our family and friends at a club that I know has done everything they possibly can to make it as safe and enjoyable as can be.
DEREK CRAWFORD My parents joined Alpine 36 years ago, but it feels as though the Club has always been a part of our family. When I turned 30, I was faced with the decision of joining, postponing and paying a higher initiation fee, or letting my membership lapse. I looked at what impact Alpine had on my life – getting to enjoy the winter outdoors, and being active with my whole family. I looked at the friendships that have become part of my “extended” family. Growing up involved in programs, I formed bonds with other members who have become my closest friends through the years. I remain involved with programs at Alpine, because I love meeting our new members, spending time with friends new and old, and because it is a part of who I am. Some might debate whether I ever grew up, so let’s just say now that I am older, I am grateful for the opportunity to have my kids spend weekends with their cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. For them to have the opportunity to form lifelong friendships and develop skills through SKIDOODLE 2021 37
ALPINE FOR A LIFETIME
programs; skiing skills, and life skills – having the freedom to roam the hills with friends in a safe environment. I look back at the decision I made at 30 and still believe it was an easy decision to make.
deadline such that a second-generation member could join by age 35 for 25% of the initiation fee. Again, recognizing continued challenges, a subsequent Board extended the discount on a declining scale up to the age of 40.
Don’t look at it as a near term decision, that looks daunting, but look at the long term. Make Alpine part of your family for life.
As time passed, two things became clear: financial priorities were becoming increasingly difficult for young families and it was taking longer for them to get established. From Alpine’s perspective, there were two challenges: younger members are generally most engaged at the Club before they leave for University yet there was no incentive to join before the age of 30 and the longer you are away from the Club the less likely you are to come back and join. It was time to rethink how we approached membership for the next generation.
MICHAEL MORSE My Alpine story began as my father’s idea. I don’t know if it was great foresight or just dumb luck of a decision working out, but as a consequence, I have had the good fortune of being at Alpine my entire life. As I sift through memories of my childhood, I have come to understand that my father’s decision was as much a lifestyle decision as it was joining Alpine. My memories include snowy drives, snowbanks in Collingwood, family dinners, hotels, motels and farm-houses at the top of the Escarpment and lifelong friends. Alpine was the catalyst for it all. This isn’t about me or my story. We all have our own unique Alpine story – those special memories. It is inspiring to see many founding members still active at the Club. It is also so special to have three generations ride the chairlift together. We are now seeing grandchildren of our founding members join – in fact, with the Next Generation program we are now seeing three generations in a family join simultaneously. Successive Boards at Alpine have recognized the importance of family and how it is the foundation of ongoing membership continuity. That is why it is a family membership rather than requiring both spouses to pay an initiation fee as is the case at most other private country clubs. Also, in recognition of this, there has always been an incentive for the second generation (children of voting members) to join. For many years, second-generation members were able to join at 10% of the current initiation fee before their 30th birthday. As time passed and financial priorities for our younger members became more complicated, many were foregoing the opportunity. In recognition of these challenges, over the years the Board enhanced the opportunity by extending the SKIDOODLE 2021 38
A diverse committee of members set out to create a program that addressed these challenges. There was plenty of debate and feedback from focus groups. It is out of this process that the Next Generation membership program was born. In many ways, it was a paradigm shift in how we approached membership. There was a separation of paying the initiation fee from the obligation of assuming the responsibility of full membership. We have created a sliding scale whereby the child of a full-voting member can join Alpine for as little as 4% of the last initiation fee charged and still maintain the privileges of a dependent member. At 30, a Next Generation member simply makes the election to switch to a full-voting membership. Beyond age 30, if not a Next Generation member, a child can no longer obtain a badge under their parent’s full voting membership and the amount required to join increases each year to age 40 at which time it tops out at 90%. I recognize that with the pressures of completing school, settling down in a career, buying a home, etc., an Alpine membership may seem low on the priority list. However, I encourage you to review the details of the Next Generation program and sit down as a family and consider your Alpine experience. Make a plan that includes Alpine - don’t let the opportunity to join at such a deep discount pass you by!
Rebecca Stone, circa 1981
A LOOK BACK AT OUR
HALL OF FAME Sixty years of skiing and riding has certainly provided plenty of opportunities for our athletes to shine. Over the history of the Club our Hall of Fame recognition program now stands at over 30 athletes. We thought it would be fun to check in with some of the original recipients to see where they are now. Three simple questions were asked and the following highlights their responses. What was the highlight of your competitive career? What lesson(s) did you take from your athletic career into your daily life? Where are you now with your skiing or riding (i.e. family still at Alpine, still competing, kids competing, etc.)? DAVID HALL, 1982: My ski racing highlight was definitely
winning the Gold Medal in the Canadian Juvenile (U-15) GS championships at Craigleith. Unfortunately, I crashed in the slalom the next day while the home crowd at Alpine was cheering me on. Ski racing taught me that in order to be successful at anything in life, one has to work incredibly hard to get there. After living in Vancouver for 21 years my passion switched to snowboarding but I switched back to skiing when my kids started to ski. My family are regular guests at Alpine and it’s great to see old friends on the hill that I haven’t seen for 40 years.
KRIS PESUT, 1983: The highlight of my career was a million
years ago, I won the downhill at the Shell Cup Juveniles (U14 Nationals). Effective time management skills and the ability to focus intensely are my two biggest lessons learned from ski racing that I take into my daily life. Today, I have the absolute privilege
of watching my girls go through the same racing/coaching experience I had at the Club. It warms my heart that they love Alpine as much as I do.
JEFF COX, 1987: Ski racing remains a highlight of my life!
What could be better than travelling around the world with my pals, competing at a high level, and racing fast? Skiing taught me many life lessons but the greatest take away is to always take risks, set goals and then focus to achieve them. Our family will always remain involved at Alpine. All three of my girls Taylor (U14), Sadie (U12) and Alana (Adult Masters) are still active in ski racing. I’m 50/50 with racing and monoskiing. Still competing? Of course. Never say die – I’ve started my training for Club Championships 2021.
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SKIDOODLE 2021 40
RISING STARS A LOOK BACK
MARTHA HALL, 1987: The highlights are varied but a definite
highlight is winning the Nancy Green Championship, way back when! Other highlights would be the travel to foreign countries like Chile, Switzerland, etc. for training camps; such a great experience. Competitive sport and skiing in particular taught me about dealing with successes and defeat. I look back on those defeats and realize how much they make you grow. It is a lesson that I am trying to pass on to both my children and my students. I have entered back into the world of ski racing through the Fun and Glory program (still donning my apparel from when I was 16 on the SOD team). My family is still at Alpine and my two girls are in the racing program (although, with how much fun they have in the terrain park, they may need to switch over to freestyle or the dark side!). Love the options.
MIKE MCTAGGART, 1993: I would say back in 1996 and
1997 I spent a lot of time racing NORAMs, FIS series and National Championships. The results were both rewarding and humbling. 1997 was my last year racing. During my race career I got an early front row seat to some of the best skiing that would unfold over the next two decades; a young Bode Miller and from Mont Tremblant, Eric Guay. It was fun to watch these guys over the next 20 years...definitely kept me close to the sport. It is fun now watching Roni Remme crush it on the World Cup. Confidence was my life lesson. Disappointment and failure are inevitable but you always must find a way to get your confidence back. Ski racing taught me the processes required to build confidence. Today, skiing is our family’s sport. My daughters race and love their friends and coaches. It is fun now to be on the sidelines and watch the next generation benefit from the sport I still love and participate in both at the Masters and Fun and Glory level. When I am at the Club with my lifelong friends it’s like we are 10 again… hitting jumps and popping into the Powder Bowl… or donning my monoski.
HALEY PERLUS, 1993: The Whistler Cup changed my life as I learned how essential our mindset is to performance. My coach bet on me to win that race. I remember thinking, “if he believes in me enough to bet on me, why shouldn’t I believe in myself?”. That was the start of what eventually became my passion, career, and purpose: to help us all dream big and learn the tools to take the necessary steps to make those dreams come true. The results (good and bad) come and go and we must develop unshakeable confidence to give us the strength to keep moving forward through life. Skiing is a huge part of my life. I ski every week during the winter months. It is a huge part of my social life, health & wellness, and career.
CAM THOMSON, 1996: Statistically, my highlight was a 3rd place finish in a FIS slalom at Craigleith, but really it was the career itself and the very strange and awesome way I went through high school (at the National Ski Academy) - living in a house with 30 other kids, taking winters off school and seeing the world! This opportunity allowed me to learn dedication and perseverance above all else are true life lessons. Now skiing is all about family, watching my wife become a true skier, teaching our kids and spending quality time with my Dad and the rest of the family (literal and figurative) at Alpine! RYAN PERLUS, 2003: There were two major highlights of my career. The first highlight was when I finished 1st and 3rd in two consecutive slalom races in Panorama with a highly competitive field including National Team members. These results led to the second highlight of my career when I raced in the World Junior Championships in Bardonecchia, Italy. Like all athletes, my ski racing career was filled with ups and downs. Fortunately, I was able to overcome many hardships by maintaining a strong work ethic and persevering through SKIDOODLE 2021 41
RISING STARS A LOOK BACK the difficult times. I have been able to apply these two skills to every stage of my academic life. From being accepted to medical school to matching to a Canadian residency program as an international medical graduate and finally completing my Royal College Exam in Orthopaedic Surgery. I was forced to recall the lessons learned from skiing and translate them to my medical training in order to be successful in becoming a surgeon. Due to the fact that I lived in Ireland for medical school and then spent five years in Orthopaedic Surgery residency, I haven’t been able to make the full-time commitment to join as an active member at Alpine. I generally ski with my family and have a twoyear-old son, Milo, who will learn to ski for the first time this winter.
PALMER TAYLOR, 2005-09: The highlight was competing on home soil at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Snowboarding has taught me so much in my life I don’t think I can list just one lesson but if I had to summarize, I would say it taught me discipline, persistence, trust, accountability, patience and integrity. Most importantly it taught me to have fun and to follow what you are passionate about! I still ride every weekend in the winter at Alpine and have judged freestyle snowboarding competitions for the last four years to stay involved with the sport.
ANDREW SOLOMON, 2009: The highlight of my career was
competing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in Roccaraso, Italy in 2012.
Thanks to ski racing, I have learned the importance of work ethic and preparation. My family is still at Alpine and I manage to get back to ski at the Club when I can. I also get together with my old teammates for a ski trip every year or two.
EMMA BEATTIE, 2009: The highlight of my career was racing slalom in the Nor Am Circuit. Racing taught me to always do the lion’s share of the work first. Feeling cold is always temporary! Currently I am enjoying skiing the club fields of New Zealand and when I can the occasional day at Alpine for some slicey racer turns.
DEREK LIVINGSTON, 2009-PRESENT: I am lucky enough to have a couple of highlights, the first being at the 2018 Olympic Games with my family there to support me, then the following year getting my first two World Cup podiums. The biggest lesson I bring to my everyday life is goal setting and having a plan of action to achieve them. I am still competing on the National Snowboard Halfpipe team vying for my third Olympic Games in 2022. My family still skis and snowboards at Alpine, this Club raised our family and we will always be a part of the Club.
RONI REMME, 2012-PRESENT: The highlight of my competitive career so far has been representing Canada at the 2018 Olympics. Despite feeling frustrated that I was unable to perform at my full potential, the amount of support I felt from my family, friends, and community - especially Alpine Ski Club was unbelievable. I am still learning so many lessons, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is how to interact and work with a lot of different people. In the world of alpine ski racing we are constantly having to work closely with a rotation of people, whether it’s new coaches and technicians, or living with new teammates. I am still racing on the World Cup tour as part of the National Team. The next two years are BIG with World Championships this season in Cortina, Italy, and the Olympics next year!
SINCE OUR LAST INDUCTEE, WE HAVE HAD SOME NEW ALPINE ATHLETES SET TO BE ADDED TO THE HALL OF FAME. CONGRATULATIONS TO: RILEY KILMER CHOI, CANADA SNOWBOARD NEXT GEN TEAM ABBY VAN GRONINGEN, CANADA SNOWBOARD NEXT GEN TEAM BEN HELDMAN, CANADA SNOWBOARD NEXT GEN TEAM EMMA VAN GRONINGEN, CANADA SNOWBOARD NEXT GEN TEAM ANDREW HILDEBRAND, CANADA SNOWBOARD NEXT GEN TEAM EMMA WILLIAMSON, ONTARIO SKI TEAM
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SKI TECHNICAL TIP By Tori Johnston, U14 OCUP Head Coach
s a third-generation member, I grew up through the racing program at Alpine. From the age of 7 to 16 racing was a huge part of who I was. After racing 1 year of J/FIS I transitioned into coaching and this will be my 11th year on the coaching staff at Alpine. Along with being Developmental Level certified and working on my Performance Level coaching certification, I have a degree in Kinesiology and Physical Education from Wilfrid Laurier University and am a certified personal trainer. Last February, I had the opportunity to be a part of the Women in Coaching initiative put on by Alpine Ontario at the Nor-Am race series. As 1 of 15 female coaches from Ontario selected for this program, I was able to shadow, interact with and learn from the Provincial, Canadian and US coaches. Our day would start early as we participated in the race set and then watched how the different teams inspected the race course. We viewed the races from coaches’ corner and were impressed with how open and welcoming the coaches were towards us; offering their view points and answering our questions. I found motivation in being mentored by these coaches from provincial and national teams and found it encouraging to see female role models not only as racers but as high-performance coaches. One notable take-away for me, that is applicable to all levels of racing, is that each day when you meet with your team the first item on your agenda should be a warm up; not going straight down the hill, no tuck runs, but rather a few runs of drills.
Being able to start the day with a focus on what you are working on can help improve your skiing and warm up your muscles to help the reduce the risk of injury. Making this part of your daily routine in the morning, your free runs before gate training and the first few runs on race day is a great way to start your day. I plan to implement this with my team this year and will incorporate some of my favourite drills including: • Inside ski lift • 1000 steps • Spiess • Braquage Whether you are working on your stance, balance, body position, or just a dynamic on hill warm up, there is no shortage of drills to help you improve. So, regardless of whether you are a racer or just out for a day on the slopes, try adding a few runs of drills to your daily routine to get you warmed up and focused. SKIDOODLE 2021 43
SNOWBOARD TIP By Krista Thomson, Supervisor of Junior Snowboarding
hat an amazing year to be celebrating Alpine’s 60th anniversary! It is a great time to reflect, take a breath and be truly grateful for the community and outdoor space the Club offers us. During a time with so much change, simply being able to come to the Club, stay active and be outside doing what we love holds so much importance. As a certified Health and Wellness coach and a snowboard instructor mindset plays a huge role in my life both on and off the hill. It is a practice that I have cultivated over the years to prepare me for whatever the day may hold. Whether you are just starting out or training at a competitive level cultivating a growth mindset will help create space for more calm and ease as you step onto the hill. Once you have found a flow with this in your sport, it will naturally expand into other areas of life as well. Individuals with a growth mindset believe they can improve and develop their intelligence and skills. Having a growth mindset looks something like this: • Belief that you can improve your skills and intelligence • Challenges help you grow • Feedback is constructive • Failure is an opportunity for growth • The success of others is inspiring • Your effort and attitude determines your ability So, if we aren’t quite there yet how do we get there through sport? For me, I choose to start my day at the top of the hill or the SKIDOODLE 2021 44
beginning of a lesson taking in the beauty that surrounds me. This helps me to create a more calming, present and grounded start to the day and run. I connect to my body and my breath as I visualize what I want my run to look and feel like. Visualization is a very helpful tool when discussing mindset. There is great importance in setting yourself up for what you would like to get out of your run. Whether you are in the park practicing a trick, running gates or just learning to turn; taking a moment to truly connect to what you are looking to achieve in that specific run can be very beneficial. As you visualize yourself, feel in your body what an amazing run would feel like, connect to that feeling and ground it in before you start your run. Defining and setting goals with your instructor/coach and coming up with an action plan for the season can really help when you approach it with a growth mindset. Take that goal for the season and break it down to smaller intentions as you make your way through. Take time to celebrate your achievements and accomplishments (no matter how big or small) and use your challenges to fuel you to work harder.
PURSUE SOMETHING YOU LOVE By Palmer Taylor, Olympian
To this day some of my fondest memories are from growing up at Alpine. I was fortunate to be able to be on skis at a very young age. Like many of you reading this, I was 18 months old when I took my first turns down ABC. After learning the foundations of skiing by the age of seven, I decided to take up snowboarding and was competing one year later at the age of eight. Within two years of getting on my first snowboard at the age of nine, I was competing on the Inter-club circuit which resulted in me ending up with many podium finishes. Fast forward a few years and I was at my first international competition at the US Open where I won Gold at the age of 13. That same year the trajectory of my snowboarding career took flight. My coaches could see the passion I had for the sport and knew that I had what it took to be an elite athlete and compete at the Olympic level. This was a transformational point in my snowboarding career and the support I received from my coaches, family and friends helped reinforce my commitment to pursuing my love for the sport. From there, it was one international competition after the next. I am going to do a little gloating here and tell you about how I made history: At the age of 16 at the Burton Canadian Open in Calgary, not only did I win gold, but I marked history when I was the first Canadian woman to ever land a frontside 900 in competition. After that, the focus shifted quickly to trying to earn one of three quota spots for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics held on home soil in Vancouver. It came down to the final qualifying event in Quebec where I solidified my spot. By securing my spot, I became the youngest Canadian athlete to
compete at the 2010 Winter Games. The night I found out is forever engrained in my memory. Looking back on my snowboarding journey I’ve come to the realization that the sport has made me into the person I am today. I owe a part of my development to Alpine Ski Club and the incredible experiences it led me to have and I continue to be a part of. The exposure that Alpine provided to me at a young age influenced me to try new things. Another fond memory I have was when I was seven years old heading up the Arrowhead chairlift admiring a snowboarder rip down the hill. I will never forget looking over to my ski instructor and saying “I want to do that.” Alpine was instrumental in providing me with this opportunity through the Mixed Boards program. This program was the perfect transition to learn a new sport, especially as a young athlete. I might receive a little backlash from my snowboarder friends, but I do think that skiing is an SKIDOODLE 2021 45
ELITE ATHLETES important fundamental to learn as it does contribute significantly to the balance and foundations of the sport. The Mixed Boards program at Alpine enables young athletes, like me, to explore both disciplines which I believe was an asset to my success. The next thing I knew I hung up my skis and committed to snowboarding. As a private ski club, Alpine accepts all disciplines of winter sport and is at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. The opportunities that came as a result of the partnerships that Alpine had with their inter-club program were the stepping stones towards my progression in the sport. From provincials to local and international competitions, to being on the Canadian National Snowboard Team, the opportunities were endless. Alpine provides a platform for athletes to explore their passion for sport and fosters a supportive environment to allow them to excel. My dad always told me how you play in sport is how you play in your personal life and career. For the parents out there reading this, I would like to provide some assurance that disciplined elite athletes typically do well in school due to their commitment and ability to handle adversity they have learned through sport. The organizational skills that I learned from balancing both snowboarding and education led me to become pre-accepted out of high school to the Ivey Business School where I graduated with honours. Education wasn’t the only hurdle to overcome. I had three knee surgeries and a broken back all before I went to the Olympics. After each injury, there was a period of downtime and physical rehab that led to missed competitions and mental frustrations. I had to stand back up from each one and fight to earn my quota spot for the Olympics. The lessons learned through sport— discipline, perseverance, and patience—are also transferable to the business world and in life.
As I look back on my experience, there are so many people that have influenced my career and I would like to thank the Club, the members and the Board for the support they provided me through my journey. It all started on the ABC run, learning to link my turns all the way to supporting me at the Olympics. It has been an incredible ride and one that I wouldn’t change for the world. I feel so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity that I did and I can’t thank my parents and family enough for all their support and sacrifices that they made. You have all helped make my dreams possible and I couldn’t have done it without you! I owe who I am as a person to the lessons that I’ve learned from snowboarding. Alpine has created an inclusive family atmosphere that continues to evolve into three generations of athlete development, and hopefully, it will be a family tradition that continues into the future. In my view, we are already seeing this on the athlete development side of Alpine’s programs. Since ‘my’ Vancouver Olympics, we have had two more athletes join the Alpine ‘Olympic’ club within a club: Derek Livingston, who is a two-time Olympian in the half-pipe and represented Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and, Roni Remme, who competed for Canada in alpine skiing events at PyeongChang. I am proud to be a member at Alpine and to be there to support, encourage and coach young athletes along the way. If I could leave one thing for the up-and-coming rippers, I would say to pursue something you love and have fun doing it! I am looking forward to riding with Alpine’s future athletes!
SERVICING ALPINE SKI CLUB
SINCE 1978 SKIDOODLE 2021 46
TEL 705-445-8761 ALPINE@SQUIREJOHNS.COM
TIP OF THE TOQUE
FOR THE MEMBERS, BY THE MEMBERS ALPINE’S RICH TRADITION OF VOLUNTEERISM By Philip Taylor
This season is a year to celebrate our history and, at 60 years, we do have a history; a history founded on a commitment to
volunteerism that can be traced back to our founding members. I have often wondered what exactly they were thinking when they trekked up to what is now the base of the Arrowhead Chair and looked up at the Escarpment – surely, they could not have imagined what would follow.
These founding members took on great personal risk and put tremendous time and energy into acquiring and developing a primitive ski facility on the “Arrowhead Ranch” lands laying the foundation for the first-class facility we enjoy today. Armed originally with the knowledge that skiing provides exhilarating experiences for both experts and beginners alike, some of these founding members continue to enjoy skiing as the first of three generations of Alpine members. Probably unknown to each of these members, whose “founder” status has been recognized with plaques on the Arrowhead Chair, was the impact that they would have on the thousands of people that followed. People like my family who almost 40 years ago came up for a Men’s Day weekend and never left – starting at the Club as 4, my family now numbers 10. While we no longer expect our volunteers to cut trails in the summer or repair lifts in the dead of winter, volunteerism remains the backbone of our existence. The volunteer Board is actively involved in all aspects of the Club and relies on additional volunteers for various committees supporting each of the Board portfolios. Our programs rely on volunteers as team managers. Social programs rely on volunteers to assist with the various, and often simultaneous, après-ski events. The Management team relies on volunteers for on hill functions including Ski Patrol and Race Crew. The list goes on. Without volunteers, we simply could not function. Notably, we have reached the stage where we have had a number of second-generation directors including on our current Board, Terence Woodside (son of Past Director Doug Woodside), Laura Coward (daughter of Past Director Michael Coward), Jacquie Chapman (daughter of Past President Pam Newall), David Grant (son-in-law of Past President Dunc Hawkins)
and our current President Jackie Berg (daughter of Past President Gord Demetrick). With volunteerism in mind, for almost 30 years, Alpine has presented the Award of Merit for outstanding contribution to our Club. Traditionally, we have been presenting the award at the annual Past Presidents’ Dinner held in late December. Given the importance of volunteerism to the success of the Club, it is the intention of the Club to also recognize these recipients in a more public forum such as the AGM and to communicate more about our history and the efforts of prior Award of Merit recipients. I hope that our rich tradition of volunteerism and commitment to the Club continue – done properly, selflessness is on some level selfish. Given the strength of the current Board and its committees, I know that the passion and commitment to volunteerism will continue to thrive and that Alpine will continue to evolve; always providing the best family experience and fulfilling its vision to define the private club experience for all generations of discerning winter sports enthusiasts. On the milestone of our 60th, and on behalf of the entire membership. I want to thank our founding members, all past and present Board and committee members and all those who have volunteered their time in their own way, big or small, to make the “Alpine Experience” second to none. It is your efforts that have provided the foundation for the countless memories, holidays and weekend experiences that have shaped our lives, offered us friendships and a place to nurture those.
ALPINE SKI CLUB AWARD OF MERIT THE DEFINITION OF MERIT IS AN EXCELLENT ACHIEVEMENT, HONOR, VALUE OR QUALITY THAT IS DESERVING OF APPROVAL. AN EXAMPLE OF MERIT IS SOMEONE RECEIVING AN AWARD FOR THEIR CHARITY WORK. THE AWARD OF MERIT CANDIDATE IS RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUCCESS OF ALPINE SKI CLUB. PAST RECIPIENTS OF THE AWARD OF MERIT:
1991 1992 1993 1994
Phil Durnford Bill Hodges Harry Palter Mike Toohey Larry Hall Walter Pridham Marion Reid Chris Bicknell Keith Plater Joan Witty Ron Kay Michael Wolfe
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Susan Klotz Bob Graham Ben Parr Jackie Carroll Rudy Berrang Howie & Rochelle Nobert Gail Adams Ron Williams Warren & Irene Stewart Greg Martin Laurence Coward Bill Cotnam
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Dennis Irwin Jim West Meg Wilson Randy Buckley Mel Walker Nancy Perrin Norm Miller Dawn Tattle Audrey Pady Doug and Doris Smith Tom Crawford Peter Morse
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2019 2020
Henry Leistner Andrea Callegari Eberhard Leistner Walter Traub Elaine Kilmer Choi Greg Thomson Lisa Koster Tony Petrella Grant Williams
SKIDOODLE 2021 47
VOLUNTEER TRACKS By Grant Williams
I can’t speak to how long snowshoeing has been going on at
Alpine, but the availability of the modern aluminum snowshoe saw the sport take off in the 1990s. The Switchback route was originally created for cross country skiers. That trail up the mountain, in conjunction with the Bruce Trail, provided the perfect opportunity for local snowshoers to get out and explore. About 15 years ago, I fell in with a Saturday afternoon group of snowshoers who were quite intrepid and liked to add a bit of bush whacking to their route back to the lodge. A few years later, Trevor Thom, Paul Brink and I were preparing for the Switchback Challenge race with a small group. During training, some of us would sometimes venture out on some off-piste trails, thanks to Paul’s adventurous nature. It became apparent that, over time, various individuals had attempted to mark some trails by spray-painting trees and using plastic ribbons. Around the same time, while having coffee at the upper chalet on Saturday mornings, we would regularly see Douglas Lawrence, Paula and Lisa Rochon and John Terry coming in from epic snowshoes which had started over by The Steeps and ended at the top of the Summit Chair. Trying to recreate past hikes when a blanket of fresh snow carpeted the landscape, and getting horribly lost, led to the realization that we needed better marked trails. This was the genesis of the early, informal snowshoe committee. The group, in addition to some friends, spouses and children, have all contributed to cutting new trails, getting signs made, installing trail signs, leading snowshoe tours for members and building bridges over rivers. Douglas Lawrence became the architect of our beautiful map. Our goal was to make snowshoeing at Alpine a safe and fun experience for the membership. A chance to explore and get off the crowded Switchback Trail. Over time, some members have left and others have joined with Paul Zink being the most recent addition and a key driver of a number of the recently added trails. The committee is made up of about six volunteers who all have a common love of snowshoeing and are keen to share that with the membership by developing a well-marked and relatively easy to follow trail system for all to enjoy. We try to balance keeping the back-country pristine with the need to ensure people can find their way home at the end of the day. The committee has been operating for about eight years with this organizing goal in mind. We are enormously grateful for the support of Mark Collins, Kirsti Suutari, and other staff at Alpine who help facilitate our efforts, particularly given the growth in popularity of the sport by skiers and non-skiers alike in recent years.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S AWARD OF MERIT WINNER, GRANT WILLIAMS FOR ALL OF HIS HARD WORK ON OUR SNOWSHOE COMMITTEE. SKIDOODLE 2021 48
Alpine is truly a winter recreational social club, and snowshoeing is becoming a bigger part of that.
ROUND TABLE CURRENT DIRECTORS REFLECTIONS
Ten years ago, my husband (Duff) and I were at the Toronto Ski Show on a fact-finding mission. Gathering brochures for our next big ski trip out west, we stumbled upon a welcoming booth hosted by two lovely people. We walked away 10-minutes later and Duff said to me “they were so nice, we really should look at Alpine”. In that moment, we could have never known that the chance encounter with Ulla Mueller and Michael Morse would change our family’s journey forever. But it did, in the most wonderful way that we will forever be grateful for. That season, we had the privilege to ski Alpine for the very first time with Michael as our guide. We were jaw-dropped at how diverse the terrain was and how incredibly welcoming the members were. Even Michael’s daughter (Kathryn) who is the same age as our twins (Ben and Emma) joined us for KERINA WILLIAMSON part of the tour. Kathryn was actively involved in the ski racing program and Michael whole-heartedly MARKETING & believed that our children would enjoy racing too. He felt so passionately about it that he spoke to COMMUNICATIONS Head Coach, Jason Manning about them and introduced them to ski racing. Today, Ben and Emma continue to ski race as 4th year FIS athletes and have had the opportunity to train and race around the world, meeting wonderful people along the way. Ski racing with Alpine has had a tremendously positive impact on their growth and development not only as athletes, but as people. To this day, we tease Michael that we never signed our kids up for ski racing – he did. When caring people come into your life, you never know the difference they will make in your family’s future. We are all incredibly fortunate for the kind and caring people that make up our Alpine family. This wonderful sense of family that we all share is a testament to spirit and community that Alpine was built upon 60 years ago.
“WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE YEARS WHERE WE HAD ALL 16 “NEWALLS” SITTING TOGETHER FOR LUNCH MOST WEEKENDS AND WE CAN’T WAIT FOR WHAT THE NEXT 60 YEARS BRINGS FOR OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS.”
I’ve been a member at Alpine since I was two years old thanks to my parents Pam and John Newall. Every winter for 4+ decades I have spent countless hours at the Club. My brothers, Dave and Chris, and I grew up in the safe environment that we’re all familiar with, navigating the hills and the clubhouse with any number of adults watching out for us like they were our own parents. We experienced this ourselves as parents when we brought eight “grandchildren” into the Alpine family. Entrusting them first to Tammy in the Kids’ Club, then Ellen and her instructors on the magic carpet. We watched with joy as they grew up with the independence and safety that only an environment like Alpine can provide. I still remember my daughter Maggie riding the Arrowhead Chair for the first time without an adult (my husband Grant and I watching nervously from the clubhouse) – under the safe watch of her MARKETING & older cousin. She thought she was in heaven to have such freedom as a young child.
BY JACQUELINE NEWALL CHAPMAN
We are grateful for the years where we had all 16 “Newalls” sitting together for lunch most weekends and we can’t wait for what the next 60 years brings for our future generations.
SKIDOODLE 2021 49
ROUND TABLE CURRENT DIRECTORS REFLECTIONS
In reflecting on the 60-year history of Alpine the words that come to mind for me are family, friends and fun. I feel fortunate to have been a part of the Alpine family for about half of its history and so many memories come to mind – our kids first ride up the chairlift and then their first races, skiing perfect snow in the morning on The Steeps, and of course countless hours spent laughing with friends at the bar.
One very special memory is our wedding, which was held at the then newly renovated clubhouse in June 1998. Bill was good enough to run the Arrowhead Chair for photos for the wedding party and looking down from there to the expanded deck where our guests were enjoying cocktails in the beautiful sunshine is a cherished memory. With the role Alpine has played in our family’s life we could not have gotten married at a more appropriate venue. Now looking back 22 years ago it is amazing to see how far the Club has come with the building of the new clubhouse and the incredible engagement of the membership. The entire Alpine community should be very proud of the last 60 years as well as looking forward with excitement to the next 60!
“IN REFLECTING ON THE 60-YEAR HISTORY OF ALPINE THE WORDS THAT COME TO MIND FOR ME ARE FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FUN.
The first time we visited Alpine was a sunny day in March 2006 and by lunch time we decided that we had found the Club for our family. Ours is a unique story – we were not referrals; in fact, we didn’t know anyone at the Club. Looking back at pictures from that first day, we were not surprised to see in the background, people we didn’t know at the time, but would become close friends. Alpine is so welcoming that we quickly found ourselves embraced in the social scene. It didn’t take long for us to get involved on a volunteer basis. We started with our son’s racing team then eventually both served on the Board, me as Treasurer and President and my wife Lisa as Membership Director. STEVEN KOSTER
Alpine is a Club that in many ways was (and is being) built by volunteers. Our founding members had an incredible vision, one that we share to this day. We are indebted to the volunteers of the past 60 years and their contributions to the Club. We encourage all members to read the 50th anniversary book “The Alpine Story” – a fascinating history of our Club. As Lisa and I reflect on the 14 years of our membership, we have incredibly fond memories of time spent with family and lifelong friends. Alpine has truly changed our lives. What started out as a winter escape has evolved into a four-season oasis and a future retirement home. Our son Jacob was the first Intermediate Member – this was his choice and he looks forward to sharing Alpine with his family one day. We look forward to sharing Alpine with our grandkids some day! Happy 60th anniversary Alpine!
SKIDOODLE 2021 50
ROUND TABLE CURRENT DIRECTORS REFLECTIONS
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Alpine Ski Club. My family have been members for three generations. I have never reflected on that but it’s a fairly significant feat.
SAFETY, ALPINE PROGRAMS, INTRODUCTORY MEMBERSHIP
What does that mean? For me, it means several lifetimes of memories. It means meeting someone on the chair who knew my grandfather, who skied into his 80s, and remembers his bright turquoise one-piece ski suit. A suit that my dad still has and that gets pulled out every year for Retro Day. My parents reminiscing about how much the Club has grown, while still staying the same. From a small hill with only a T-bar, to the two-person Summit Chair which felt like it took an hour to get you to the top, to where we are at today. It means ski racing, which taught me discipline, a strong work-ethic, and pushed me to challenge myself. Sundays still spent racing with my cousins, my mum, my uncles, and friends in Fun and Glory, with endless goading and ultimate respect. It means friends, the lifelong kind that will be there for the rest of your life because every Saturday you’re at Alpine carving turns to earn your beer. I am beyond grateful to this place, to the staff and the members who make it great and I look forward to the next 60 years. My wife Phyllis and I decided that we wanted to join a ski club when our boys were two and five years old. Our older son Daniel had tried skiing and loved it. Our younger son Michael could not wait to join him on the hills. Friends of ours had shared their love of the weekend ski life and at the time Alpine had the best baby-sitting on the ridge, so we thought, “why not give it a try?”. Phyllis particularly liked the idea of disconnecting from city work life to spend quality family time together.
Coming from Quebec, we did not understand the concept of a private ski club, but we were excited to find out if a winter weekend ski season made sense for our busy family. From the beginning we felt safe with our kids at Alpine and loved the atmosphere. When we shared with one of our city neighbours that we were joining a “private ski club”, she laughed and told us we were really joining a social club with people who ski. And in fact, that is the joy of Alpine. We have made lifelong friends through Alpine and enjoy being with like-minded folks who love spending the winter outdoors. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions we have made for ourselves and our family. We look forward to many more years of sharing good times with our “Alpine family”.
Anniversaries are a perfect time for reflecting, for calling up memories and for celebrating. This milestone anniversary for Alpine has given me pause to look back at my family’s enjoyment of the Alpine experience over the past 16 years. How time does fly! It doesn’t seem that long ago when our girls Carolyn and Kristen were little junior racers and my husband Martin and I signed up for our first year of adult lessons in our desire to meet other members and improve our skills on the snow.
Now, some 200 winter weekends later, after graduating from racing to teaching and coaching, our girls are off at university. Martin too has graduated from ski student and race coat runner to teaching adult lessons and I continue to attend Sunday Ladies’ ski class year after year – my happy time! Alpine has been central to our commitment to family life over the years. The camaraderie, the breadth of social events, the dedicated and high caliber of instructors and coaches, and the many friendships that we’ve enjoyed over the years – all have combined to form a wealth of happy memories. We can’t imagine what winters would have been otherwise. There’s that familiar comfort in knowing, when the snow dances down as we retire for the evening, that there’s another great Alpine day ahead!
SKIDOODLE 2021 51
ROUND TABLE RETIRING DIRECTORS
my volunteer time, in particular, during my term as President and Having watched the Club’s direction from the sidelines for so many the clubhouse approval and building process. It has been a true honour and privilege to serve our Club. I believe that I have still years, over 14 years ago, I decided to volunteer time back to the Club as my way on behalf of my entire family to thank the founding only given back a small portion of what the Club and the efforts of members and all those volunteers who came before me. Needless past volunteers have provided my family. to say, time passed very quickly, and a lot was accomplished. I Happy 60th Alpine! I look forward to celebrating many future club look back on the many friendships I made and the people I met milestones and being on the slopes of Alpine for as long as I can through Board and committee work and marvel at their efforts get my ski boots on. and of those who volunteered their time and energy towards the continued development of our Club - in particular over my tenure, the development of our spectacular clubhouse. MICHAEL MORSE It is difficult to imagine my time on the Board is over. In leaving the Board, I would be remiss if I did not make specific mention of my friend and our Manager Bill Williams who has Fourteen years ago, I attended my first Board retreat and apart completed 35 seasons as our General Manager without missing a from a two-year sabbatical in the middle, I have served on the single operating day. A key factor in our success as a Club since Board since that time. the day he arrived, Bill has quietly ensured that each successive Board moved the Club forward with a view to maintaining our During my tenure, I have met so many members and developed status as the premier Club on the ridge. Bill has had a hand in the many friendships. My time on the Board, particularly as development of all of our existing infrastructure and, since 2000, Membership Director, afforded me this opportunity for which I am has overseen almost $40,000,000 in capital improvements. grateful. It has enhanced my Alpine experience. PHILIP TAYLOR
While there is not enough space to properly thank them all, Bill has assembled a management and administration team whose skill and dedication to our purpose are second-to-none. I want to thank each of them for their assistance and contribution to our success. Our membership has a passion for skiing and snowboarding that is matched by its varied views on how to approach the future. This observation is manifested in the continuous debate over the future of the Club. To those who have participated in these debates over our 60-year history, each arguably a volunteer, know that it is my belief that each volunteer Board has looked on discussion and debate as a critical part of any process leading to the correct course of action – it is, the “Alpine Way”. The strength of the “Alpine Way” has ultimately been expressed by the product of all of our efforts over the last 60 years, the Club with the most modern infrastructure that provides the best family experience. As the founders of my “Alpine Experience”, I would like to publicly thank my parents for having the foresight to join Alpine, which continues to bring our extended family together every winter weekend. I would also like to thank Jennifer and my children Joshua and Miriam for their patience and understanding during SKIDOODLE 2021 52
A lot has happened over the last fourteen years. A key project during my tenure was the design and construction of our new clubhouse. I recall the clubhouse was an agenda item at my first Board meeting and I can say with a great degree of confidence, it was an agenda item at most meetings throughout my time on the Board. The clubhouse project in many ways brought the Club together, with passionate debate on both sides. I learned an important lesson; listening to diverse views and participating in considered debate ultimately led to a better result, a result of which we can all be proud. An outside observer would likely conclude the clubhouse was our great achievement. On this point, I must disagree. Clearly, the clubhouse is critical to our infrastructure; it has changed the way many use the Club and provides a wonderful place to gather, however, it is one component of what is ultimately a greater whole. There has been an evolution that, in my opinion, is far more significant. As a club, I believe the way we engage with the membership and interact as a family has continued to evolve. From our membership supporting the Ambassador program to welcome and help integrate new members into the Club to a Next Generation program that recognizes the importance of multi-
ROUND TABLE RETIRING DIRECTORS
generational relationships, we have embraced change together. We maintain old traditions like Family Day or the gathering of the “Old Chums” and have established new ones like the Retro Day. While our building is beautiful, it is our membership, the Alpine Family, that is our greatest legacy. Alpine has matured and I am pleased I was able to contribute to the process. As I reflect upon my time on the Board, I am most proud of the Next Generation program. It started with an idea and through lots of dialogue and feedback, it became a reality. I like to think this is the ‘Alpine Way’; productive conversations, resulting in a legacy for our children and the next generation. As I conclude, I want to acknowledge the support of my family – Heather, Kathryn and Andrew thank you. And, thank you to everyone for the opportunity to serve as your President – it has been an honour! I am now excited to again just be a member – see you on the slopes. DON FRENCH
Wow – where did 4 years go? It has been a pleasure and honour to serve on the Alpine Board as Membership Director these past four years. It was my Dad’s vision that “the family that skis together, stays together” and it was his wise judgment to join Alpine. I started skiing at age four and I had the opportunity to join as a secondgeneration skier before I turned 30, just as my older brother Bill had done with his family. My wife Kelly and I decided we could not pass up the opportunity! Along came daughters Jocelyn and Amanda, and we soon had them on skis and enrolled in race programs. Myself and my brother Bill decided to get involved in racing and joined Fun & Glory in our 40’s, a very humbling experience as we had never raced before – and we loved it! In addition to skiing, Kelly decided to take up snowboarding and became one of our many Babes on Boards at Alpine. Our family made many new friends, especially through our involvement with our children’s ski programs and I am proud to say those friends have become lifelong friends that we cherish today. Over the past four years, we have seen the membership base at Alpine increase significantly. Alpine is now the place to be. We are nearing full subscription and even have had to create a waiting list
for the IM program. People want to be at Alpine. At the start of my directorship people said they wanted to be at Alpine because of the “fabulous new clubhouse”. Of course, the clubhouse still comes up; however, the number one answer is now the “Alpine family” – the overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming members, staff, programs and après socials. All summed up – it is the Alpine family. It has been a fun and exciting ride so far. I cannot wait to enjoy what is next with all of you at Alpine! See you on the slopes. JED BARACH
After five seasons on the Board managing the food and beverage portfolio, now moving into the retired Board member role, I think about the challenges entering into the next season that we all face. It does give me some significant level of comfort to reflect on the benefit of being part of a club that has the deep and long history that Alpine possesses. At some point in the future, we will be able to look back at this season coping with COVID-19 and it will have an asterisk next to the year from its special circumstances. That asterisk can’t come soon enough! Over my tenure there have been two other asterisk years; the last year in the old building and the first year in the new building. I’ve had the honour of welcoming in Men with Knives (MWK) as a new deep-rooted partner in our food and beverage success. With them as our outstanding teammates coupled with our world class facility, we’ve seen food revenue double, beverage revenue triple, and the Club evolve to a more social environment in epic fashion while still welcoming to family members of all ages. I think back to the early days of working with Bill to select and source the equipment from multiple new and used vendors including sourcing a refurbished oven on Kijiji all in the interest of being on budget and on time! We had countless meetings on carpet selection, chair and table selection, and strategizing on kitchen design to enable us to provide our members with an exception culinary experience. Enough cannot be said of the tireless effort and commitment to excellence that Julie and Gareth Carter (MWK) have devoted to Alpine. It’s been amazing to work with ALL of the professionals from MWK. It’s been an honour to serve Alpine with amazing fellow Board members. It’s offered me deep engagement with the Club significantly enhancing my enjoyment! Here’s to the next 60 years! SKIDOODLE 2021 53
THE CLUB WOULD NOT BE WHERE IT IS TODAY WITHOUT THE HARD WORK AND PASSION OF OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS. THROUGHOUT THE LAST 60 YEARS, THESE MEMBER VOLUNTEERS HAVE LED THIS CLUB THROUGH HIGHS AND LOWS AND HELPED NURTURE THE LASTING LEGACY FROM A SMALL TRAVELLING SKI GROUP TO TODAY’S ALPINE SKI CLUB. THANK YOU TO OUR PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE DIRECTORS FOR YOUR DEDICATION.
PRESIDENTS Hans Kent Gunnar K. Lindvik Stan Edwards Bancroft Svenningson Grant Duff Len Stone Norman Schipper John (Jack) Daly Marvin Givertz Bill Kitchen Al Harvey
1959-1968 1969-1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977-1978 1979 1980
Rino Stradiotto Ted Hallett Dean Saul Dunc Hawkins Pamela Newall Gary Siskind Gord Demetrick Walter Traub Al Ionson Rick Pettit Roger Oatley
1981-1982 1983-1984 1985-1986 1987-1988 1989-1990 1991-1992 1993-1994 1995-1996 1997-1998 1999-2000 2001-2002
Peter Daly Mel Walker Scott Thompson Otto Stimakovits Philip Taylor Neil Skelding Grant McEwen Michael Morse Steven Koster Jackie Berg
2003-2004 2005-2006 2007-2008 2009-2010 2011-2012 2013-2014 2015-2016 2017-2018 2019-2020 2021-2022
Listed sequentially from earliest to current, 1959-2021 John Distin Chris Bicknell Fred Moses Ron Williams Joan Meredith Al Nicholls Jack Gilbert Irene Postel Wilf Lardner Dermot Marnell Perry Tooker Alf Muehlnbauer Elizabeth D’Aguilar Betty Houston Mike Wolfe Helmut Moses Barry Hunter Barbara Scott Dave McAlpine Mike Coulter Bill McGrail SKIDOODLE 2021 54
Hugh Taylor Stan Edwards Anthony French David Weatherhead Alan Jack Robert Lawson Gunnar Lindvik John Horne Mike Wolfe Stan Edwards Ron Kay Gordon Oakes David Zilli John Horne Henry Knowles Arnold Cader Mike Coulter Len Stone Elliot Posen Henry Cole Walter Pridham
Michael Toohey Bill Hodges Jerri Mandel Peter Morse Kenneth Foster John Hill Philip Durnford David Bristow Roger (Bud) Christensen David Bryn-Jones Howard Tile Gary Glover James Gairdner Paul Reid Robert Milthorpe Harry Palter Ben Parr Irving Grosfield Bernie McManus Michael Firestone Sandra Pesut
ALPINE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Draper Wood Betty Power Roger Wilson Jack Woodcock Warren Stewart Barry Smith Marv Sherkin Graeme Ross Stephen Cole Michael Coward David W. Smith Don Champagne Larry Hall Al Peters Bob Graham Manfred Muntwyler Jackie Carroll Alan Chapple John Cole Howie Nobert Tom Ricker Bob Volpe Ross Dainty Lynda Long Tom Pridham Doug Woodside Gail Adams John Gibson Marylyn Joel Susan Klotz Joel Rosen Mike Stoneham Doug Johnston Randy Buckley Bill Cotnam
Hank Sandlos Greg Martin Tom James Marshall Margolis Greg Thomson Keith Plater Sharon Landsman Lisa Bugler Tom Crawford Jim West Dennis Irwin Vic Spigelman Connie Craddock Don Smith Peter Kofman Jack Pady Andrea Callegari John Kitchen Tom Alton Dave Fraser Dawn Tattle Patti Kendall Patti Morton-Rossbaum Brad King Mitchell Linds Jill Kitchen Kim Crawford Stephen Diamond Michael Richards Peter Coward Rick Greene Lorne Kirshenbaum Andy Stone Jeff Cox Carla Nicolson
Antony Solomon Dean Connor Linda Fuhro Michael Morse Linda Leistner Janet Griffin Duncan McCallum John Tattle Christine Brennan Michael McTaggart Len Walker Lindsay Hartley Adam Enchin Lisa Koster Darren Larsen Scott Thayer Brenda Brazier Manfred Berg Anne Cauley Matthew Cody Jon Dyck Jed Barach Randy Milthorpe Nicholas Tadross Don French Philip Taylor Dave Grant Jacquie Newall Chapman Kathleen Flynn Stephen Kahn Laura Coward Kerina Williamson Peter Moorhead Fiona Skelding-Barach Terence Woodside
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Alpine SHOP AT CORBETTS.COM USE CODE ALP15OFF TO SAVE 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE*
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*Draw will run until March 31st 2021, winner will be announced April 1st *To claim your prize, you will need to book an appointment at Corbetts Ski + Snowboard *One contest entry per email address
120 SPEERS RD. OAKVILLE. L6K 2E7 SKIDOODLE 2021 56
GEAR GUIDE EACH YEAR MANUFACTURERS COMPETE TO INTEGRATE THE LATEST IN TECHNOLOGIES, MATERIALS, AND DESIGN INNOVATIONS INTO THEIR GEAR. WE ARE THE FORTUNATE BENEFICIARIES. HERE IS A CROSS-SECTION OF THE LATEST IN FASHION AND FUNCTIONALITY FOR YOUR WINTER ENJOYMENT. LOOK FOR THEM AT CORBETTS.COM AND AT PARTICIPATING RETAILERS.
ATOMIC HAWX ULTRA 120 MEN’S SKI BOOT $599.99 Light weight and high performance come together in the Atomic Hawx Ultra 120 S - and it’s got the Legendary Hawx Feel in a narrow 98mm last. The pre-shaped Memory Fit 3D Platinum liner offers an incredible first fit and the Memory Fit process makes for a perfect fit in minutes. It’s part of the lightest alpine ski boot range we’ve ever made, thanks to Prolite our revolutionary light construction with added reinforcements in key zones cutting weight by 25%. They also feature Power Shift, Cuff Alignment and our Cantable Grip Pads, making them some of the most customizable boots to date. For strong skiers, it performs under even the most demanding conditions. You’ll get ski-all-day comfort, and still be able to push your skis and your skiing as hard as your body and mind are willing.
HEAD RADAR/RACHEL HELMET $399.99 A helmet with integrated visor, which combines the advantages of wearing a goggle, with that of having a visor helmet. Comfort is guaranteed, not only for wearers of prescription glasses. The double-lens visor is built like a traditional goggle, the lens can be exchanged in seconds by simply using the integrated buckles. The new, and patent pending Sphere Fit system assures the perfect fit of this innovative helmet. Add a modern sporty design and you have an award-winning helmet, that has it all.
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2020/21 GEAR GUIDE
SMITH 4D MAG GOGGLE $339.99 You can now see more than ever before. The all new 4D MAG™ raises the bar for lens innovation with the introduction of BirdsEye Vision. This state of the art lens technology has a 25% increase of overall field of view compared to the I/O MAG™. In addition we have evolved Smith MAG by integrating the dual locking mechanisms into the goggle frame outriggers to make a quick and easy lens change system. We know that with BirdsEye Vision featuring ChromaPop lens technology, you’ll be able to see even more detail as you take on untracked territory.
BLACK CROWS JUSTIS SKI $1199.99 A new all terrain ski aimed at the wilder adventures, the Justis has a waist surface sufficient for going far and wide, a double titanal plate for committed skiing and a good dose of rocker for perfect control. A ski for those evolving in the ski areas who want a ski, which can safely take them further away. With the versatility to take you from Ontario groomers to the powder out West, this ski is as versatile as it gets!
ATLAS HELIUM MTN SNOWSHOE $249.99
The all-new Helium Series boasts the lightest composite snowshoes available. The unique louver design sheds snow keeping them lightweight while also creating traction. The rounded edges allow the snowshoe to settle gently and flex, making strides feel natural. With anodized aluminum traction rails and the new Wrapp-MTN™ binding this snowshoe is a showstopper. Designed to excel in all types of terrain, the Helium-MTN offers maximum traction and comfort to make your favorite summer hike a new winter adventure!
2021 ROSSIGNOL REACT 10 TI SKIS W/ SPX 12 KONECT GW BINDINGS $999.99 Find your flow on the all-new React R10 Ti. The race-inspired Titanal edition delivers instant power and confident carving performance for expert to advanced skiers. The ski features our new Flex Tip technology that allows for smooth acceleration in and out of turns, putting you in the zone one powerful carve after another. Hard Snow Precision On-Trail Rocker profile balances instant turn initiation with explosive power and edge grip Accessible Stability LCT construction adapts our Line Control Technology for a more forgiving feel and reduces counter-flexing for confident control Lively, Powerful Performance HD Core TI includes Titanal for balanced dampening and liveliness with a dynamic feel in mixed conditions and terrain Carving Power Oversize sidecut delivers powerful carving performance Quick-Turn Entry and Exit Flex Tip Technology enhances Tip and tail engagement for easy turn entry and exit.
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2020/21 GEAR GUIDE
COAL THE VICE POM BEANIE $34.99 The Vice features a large front patch with various habits. Made from a soft and comfy fine knit and with pom on top and in various colorways. Premium beanie fits with a bit of stretch and can be worn over ear or tall and higher on the head. Show off your interests at the aprés with one of these awesome toques.
KARITRAA LOKKE BASELAYER TOP AND BOTTOM $134.99
Made for women by women who are passionate about great looking sportswear that lets you live life in full color. A wide range of products that is warm enough for stormy weather in the mountains and cool enough for a workout at the gym. With a passion for comfort and style, combined with trailblazing technical fabric, Kari Traa meets the demand of an active, sporty and adventurous lifestyle. ORAGE CHIC CHOC MEN’S JACKET $599.99 ORAGE GIBSON MEN’S BIB $549.99
This Anorak is one of the most stylish jackets out there. Side-zip access doubles as ventilation, and a half-zip up the front, conceals iridescent accents beneath. The large asymmetric front pocket has compartments to organize and store all your on-slope accessories, like extra goggle lenses or snacks. 3L Dermizax keeps you dry in the harshest weather. The bib, one of the toughest, most rugged backcountry bibs ever built for skiers. The Dermizax® 3-ply shell fabric and articulated fit results in a backcountry-focused bib that will stand up to the deepest powder while keeping you bone dry. For serious skiers, the Gibson bib is a no-brainer.
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2020/21 GEAR GUIDE
KARBON LUMEN WOMEN’S JACKET $799.99
This jacket embodies luxury and performance. With an engineered stretch interior, nylon super soft lining and the Karbon silver mirror hardware and Metaluxe mirror zippers, it is the perfect jacket for anyone wanting to stay warm and look great.
RIDE SUPERPIG SNOWBOARD $649.99 The SUPERPIG infuses high-end tech into our best-selling WARPIG shape for an elite all-mountain deck. If you find yourself seeking out something big and bad, avoid the other pigs and take shelter with the SUPERPIG. The SUPERPIG is the same shape as the WARPIG, just with a lot more tech and a little bit of camber. Size the SUPERPIG down 6 to 10 cm’s from your standard size because of the innovative shape. The SUPERPIG rides like a very angry WARPIG. This board is made for the demanding rider that wants the aggressive thrash style of the WARPIG with camber and a little more stiffness. Don’t let the shape fool you this board will go anywhere and do anything. Of course it will ride powder with it’s short wide shape, but you’ll be really impressed at how fast the SUPERPIG goes from edge to edge on hardpack and the pop the camber provides.
K2 MAYSIS CLICKER PACKAGE $779.99
Snowboarding’s most time-tested step-in meets the #1 boot in snowboarding. The maysis Clicker X HB gives riders looking for a convenience binding, the security of a toe and heel mount point, the heel retention of Boa Conda, and the fit and heatmoldability if an Intuition Control Foam 3D liner. Equal parts comfort, performance, and convenience. Compatible only with Clicker X HB Bindings.
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2020/21 GEAR GUIDE
YETI RAMBLER MUG AND CUP $34.99 The YETI Rambler® 14 oz. Mug is the toughest, most over-engineered camp mug out there. Unlike traditional camp mugs, this double-wall vacuum-insulated body protects hands from hot or cold contents while keeping coffee, chili, oatmeal – you name it – well-insulated. When the ski day is over and it’s time to switch beverages, the YETI Rambler 10 oz. Wine Tumbler is perfect for that. While most things are better outdoors, it’s especially true of wine. But that simple pleasure demanded some serious engineering to ensure no pool deck, happy hour, or boat is hampered by broken glass. Both products are dishwasher safe.
DAKINE TRAVEL BAGS
55L BOOT BAG BACKPACK $94.99
The Boot Pack DLX boasts all the benefits of the baseline Boot Pack, and some additional features that come in handy when you want to push the adventure a little further. The dedicated helmet and goggle pocket, front-zip cargo pocket, and separate rear-entry tarp lined boot compartment securely hold all your ski or snowboarding essentials. While the zippered side pockets can hold tuning kits and extra gloves, hats, or baselayers, and the front zippered cooler pocket keeps a sack lunch cool while you’re out working up an appetite. A solid choice for those running frequent trips to the Club.
BLACK GOGGLE STASH $29.99 Keep your goggles safe with the Dakine Goggle Stash, fully padded and fleece lined with an extra lens sleeve and mesh vents – this is a must have for your new goggles.
FALL LINE SKI ROLLER BAG $164.99 When you’re on the hunt for worldclass skiing, the right tools make all the difference. With the Fall Line, finding the perfect spot for everything is easy: removable bag for boots, the zippered exterior pocket for small stuff, and a big interior volume for your boards/poles/pack. Cruise through your travels and focus on getting the goods.
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This is Your Windfall Be a part of an inspired enclave of semi-detached and single-family mountain homes.
Introducing the next phase of mountain homes nestled between Blue Mountain Resort and the award winning Scandinave Spa. A community set proudly apart yet connected by nature. Distinctive architecture inspired by Georgian Bay cabins and mountain chalets. This is everything you want Blue Mountain living to be. This is your Windfall.
SEMIS from the low
TWO STOREYS to the high
firstname.lastname@example.org | 705-293-0954 For more information visit the Sales Centre located at Windfall Mountain Homes, 104 Yellow Birch Cresc., Blue Mountains. Prices subject to change without notice E. & O.E. SKIDOODLE 2021 62
Register today at WindfallatBlue.com
Another project developed by:
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live remarkably. We start with location. It all begins with a sense of place. We let the land decide what our communities should look like. We create simple yet remarkable amenities to bring families together. That sense of place helps to determine the design and character of each community’s Master Plan. Ask yourself if what you’re looking for is a place to live – or a place to Live Remarkably.
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GEORGIAN C O M M U NI T I E S
Alpine is celebrating its 60th anniversary! The Club is very excited to share this season's issue of Skidoodle Magazine with you. Dig in for...
Published on Mar 5, 2021
Alpine is celebrating its 60th anniversary! The Club is very excited to share this season's issue of Skidoodle Magazine with you. Dig in for...